Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cradle and All

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2006 at 3:21 PM

Following up on the earlier blog posting "Warming Up to Warming," a reminder that William McDonough will be at Vandy's Benton Chapel tonight at 7:00. The author of "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" comes as the guest of the Tennessee Fund for Sustainability. The lecture is free. Below is Liz Garrigan's preview of the lecture:

McDonough is to the sustainable design movement what Hilary Duff is to 14-year-old girls: a singularly influential icon. Neither a crunchy environmentalist nor a blind apologist for industry, McDonough, an architect, uses science and design sensibilities to argue for "ecologically intelligent design." In his book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, written with colleague and chemist Michael Braungart, McDonough points out that it's all fine and good to recycle metals, papers and other waste products, but that, in its current form, recycling amounts to "downcycling" because the materials lose quality in the process. What makes more sense, he argues, is to recycle a chair to become a chair, a book to become a book—what he calls "cradle-to-cradle cycles." In fact, Cradle to Cradle is itself an example, as it is made of synthetic waterproof paper that is meant to be used again and again, without ever being downgraded. In 1999, Time named McDonough "Hero of the Planet," and wrote, "his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that, in demonstrable ways, is changing the design of the world." He speaks at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at Benton Chapel on Vanderbilt's campus. The event is free and open to the public. —LIZ GARRIGAN

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