“Design is the first sign of human intention” – Wm. McDonough / TED
William McDonough is perhaps the single most exciting design architect I have come across in a long time. I’ve added his book, Cradle to Cradle:Remaking the Way We Make Things, to my reading list. I first encountered his revolutionary ideas while viewing Design e2: The Economies of being Environmentally Conscious. This program was my first exposure to green roofs, rain-water retrieval, and design of attractive, inviting buildings which gave back, instead of just using up resources.
The Industrial Revolution simply happened. No one planned it. Even fewer thought of the ramifications of the great forces of invention which were being toyed with. There was no deliberate, purposeful intention to what was being done or made. The human race was simply amazed by its own emerging abilities to make more, and have more. And now, in the twenty-first century this revolution has far outrun its course. We can no longer just hide our dirt under the rug-or the ground for that matter.
It’s what I’ve always told the creative spirits with whom I’ve been privileged to work; “Design and creativity are free. We just have to come up with it.” More importantly, people like McDonough (TED Talk) ask us to begin, not with the product of our design, but the intention. What do we want this building, this product, this production, or art to do and be? What is our intention?
McDonough and many architects and designers like him are actually building structures which incorporate existing technologies of passive and active solar power, heating and cooling; of wind-power; of grey-water and rain-water retrieval and management. The creative harmonies being discovered and employed in this paradigm are breathtaking.