William McDonough is committed to helping humankind remake how we make things so as to not pollute the environment and therefore ourselves. He’s convinced that we can live a healthy and sustainable life on the planet if we start asking ourselves the right questions. In this interview, McDonough speaks about how we need to look closely at nature, where nothing is thrown away.
He explains the idea of “Cradle to Cradle”, and how humans can become tools of the natural world once more. He explores the difference between a consumer and a customer, explains what is meant by accruing a “materials bank”, and proposes how we can turn sewage treatment plants into nutrient management plants.
William McDonough is an anticipatory design architect. But more than that he is a philosopher for the 21st century, and is asking some of the most critical questions we should be thinking about in these challenging times. He’s the former Dean of the Architecture Department at the University of Virginia, and was named “Hero of the Planet” by Time magazine. He’s also the winner of three U.S. presidential awards including the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. He is the author with his partner, Michael Braungart, of the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (Farrar, Straus and Geroux 2002).