William McDonough featured in Forbes.com

Terry Waghorn, founder/CEO of the Katerva Foundation, and Forbes contributor, spoke with William McDonough recently about Cradle to Cradle and how his upbringing has shaped his thinking, his design approach, and more.

Here’s the first Q&A–

In a nutshell, what do you mean by Cradle to Cradle® design?

We use the term “Cradle to Cradle design” to refer to an intentional system of design and decision making based on a fundamentally new view of the world.

For billions of years, we’ve had the biological world with biological metabolism—living things requiring growth, free energy from outside the system and an open metabolism of chemicals operating for the benefit of the organisms and their reproduction. In the last 5,000 years we’ve created another metabolism we call the “technical metabolism”—the stuff we humans make from metals, most plastics, etc. We realized we could design this parallel metabolism in ways that could continually celebrate growth that doesn’t harm the biosphere. So Cradle to Cradle calls for materials in continuous reuse cycles with reverse logistics, renewable power systems, water that’s clean enough to drink and social fairness. We see all materials as nutrients and eliminate the concept of waste. We’re saying, “Don’t even think about waste; waste doesn’t exist.” How can we make everything a beneficial nutrient to either biology or technology? We don’t want to see things that accrue and will become persistent in mothers’ milk. We can design things so they don’t have to be that way. Companies love the approach because it is very profitable to do and eliminates the need for regulations because there is nothing to fear.

You can see the full article at this link.