Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rights of Nature

William McDonough (author of "Cradle to Cradle") on green supply chains and living buildings, a radical shift from the aesthetic of buildings as "machines for living". This 20-minute video is dated Oct. 16, 2007. Two and a half years later, it's still prescient. He offers a strategy of hope, but a review of the direction that we're going with our industries and processes shows that we have to make some serious changes. He proposes an open metabolism that mimics nature's design principles. He asks, "What is our intention as a species?" as we look out into the future.

A well-known example of the cycle of the ecology of commerce in product production and reuse is Interface Carpet. This is a response to the kind of re-visioning of the manufacturing process that focuses on conservation of resources and pollution reduction.

McDonough is now consulting via MBDC to offer systems and ways to restructure the chemical processes and content of materials supply in the built environment. MBDC has amassed a huge database of chemicals and products, and offers a certification for a complete recycling process for the products they review.

That's truly the road less traveled, for most architects, a group not known for humility. Maybe that's about to change.