Idealism and Pragmatism

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  • Title: Idealism and Pragmatism: Pedagogy and the Design of a Sustainable Agriculture
  • Author(s): David Crutchfield, Kathleen Pepple
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: On Sustainability
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sustainability Education
  • Keywords: Sustainable Design, Agriculture, Higher Education
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2325-1212 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1220 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Crutchfield, David, and Kathleen Pepple. 2016. "Idealism and Pragmatism: Pedagogy and the Design of a Sustainable Agriculture." The International Journal of Sustainability Education 12 (2): 1-7. doi:10.18848/2325-1212/CGP/v12i02/1-7.
  • Extent: 7 pages


Feeding the citizens of sustainable cities will require multiple approaches to sustainable agriculture. This will necessitate an increased reliance on local and regional crops and the development of diverse options—moving away from monoculture practices toward a diverse permaculture approach. The vision of an established and progressive couple returning to live upon their family’s multi-generational farmland, Friluftsliv Farm, will become a pedagogical prototype of sustainable rural living within the north-central United States. Seeking professional assistance in the design and development of this innovative research facility, it was determined that a project of such magnitude required the employment of a unique design process suited to the breadth and depth of the mission. To that end, the couple was directed to faculty at North Dakota State University with backgrounds in sustainable design and a familiarity with alternative agricultural practices. The resulting design is the consequence of a number of trans-disciplinary and participatory interactions drawing from multiple sources of inspiration and a variety of pedagogical exercises—all resulting in a very real farmstead/dwelling.