William McDonough William McDonough

A globally recognized leader in sustainable development, William McDonough,  FAIA, FRIBA, Int., is Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on the Circular Economy. Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” noting: “His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.” He has received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries (2003), and the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design (2004).

McDonough has written and lectured extensively on design as the first signal of human intention. (See William McDonough’s latest presentations on YouTube). He was commissioned in 1992 to write The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability as guidelines for the City of Hannover’s EXPO 2000, still recognized as a touchstone of sustainable design. In 2002, McDonough and Michael Braungart co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, widely acknowledged as a seminal text of the sustainability movement. Their latest book, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance was released in 2013.

McDonough’s interests and influence range widely, and he works at scales from the global to the molecular. He advises commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Innovation. McDonough is also active with William McDonough + Partners , his architecture practice with offices in Charlottesville, VA, and San Francisco, CA, as well as MBDC, the Cradle to Cradle® consulting firm co-founded with Braungart. Together they co-founded two not-for-profit organizations to allow public accessibility to Cradle to Cradle thinking : GreenBlue (2000) and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (2009). He co-founded Make It Right (2006) with Brad Pitt. In 2012, McDonough was invited to become the subject of Stanford University Libraries’ first “living archive,” a real-time collection of his work.


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