William McDonough quote

"And to use something as elegant as a tree? Imagine this design assignment: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, makes complex sugars and foods, changes colors with the seasons, and self-replicates. and then why don't we knock that down and write on it?"

William McDonough

Born: February 21, 1951

Occupation: Designer

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William McDonough

Don't get me wrong: I love nuclear energy! It's just that I prefer fusion to fission. And it just so happens that there's an enormous fusion reactor safely banked a few million miles from us. It delivers...

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Recycling is more expensive for communities than it needs to be, partly because traditional recycling tries to force materials into more lifetimes than they are designed for - a complicated and messy conversion,...

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Sustainability takes forever. And that's the point.

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How do we love all the children of all species for all time?

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Here's where redesign begins in earnest, where we stop trying to be less bad and we start figuring out how to be good.

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Richard Meier told me, 'Young man, solar energy has nothing to do with architecture,'

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We see a world of abundance, not limits. In the midst of a great deal of talk about reducing the human ecological footprint, we offer a different vision. What if humans designed products and systems that...

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To eliminate the concept of waste means to design things-products, packaging, and systems-from the very beginning on the understanding that waste does not exist.

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William McDonough

I can't imagine something being beautiful at this point in history if it's destroying the planet or causing children to get sick. How can anything be beautiful if it's not ecologically intelligent at this...

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The Stone Age did not end because humans ran out of stones. It ended because it was time for a re-think about how we live.

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If we think about things having multiple lives, cradle to cradle, we could design things that can go back to either nature or back to industry forever.

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William McDonough

And to use something as elegant as a tree? Imagine this design assignment: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, makes complex sugars and foods, changes...

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I think as designers we realize design is a signal of intention, but it also has to occur within a world and we have to understand that world in order to imbue our designs with inherent intelligence.

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William McDonough

Design is the first signal of human intention.

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Our goal is a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy, and just world, with clean air, water, soil and power – economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed.

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William McDonough

In the end, the question is not, how do we use nature to serve our interests? It's how can we use humans to serve nature's interest?'

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William McDonough

We celebrate the cherry tree not for its efficiency but for its effectiveness - and for its beauty. Its materials are in constant flow, and all those thousands of useless cherry blossoms look gorgeous....

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William McDonough

The surest way to heal an eco-system is to connect it to more of itself.

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William McDonough

You don't filter smokestacks or water. Instead, you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence.

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Designers are inherently optimistic people who try to make the world a better place

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William McDonough

If anybody here has trouble with the concept of design humility, reflect on this: It took us 5,000 years to put wheels on our luggage.

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William McDonough

Designing renders visible our hopes and dreams. It is the first signal of human intentions.

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The eco-effective future of industry is a world of abundance that celebrates the use and consumption of products and materials that are, in effect, nutritious - as safe, effective, and delightful as a...

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William McDonough

We are proposing buildings that, like trees, are net energy exporters, produce more energy than they consume, accrue and store solar energy, and purify their own waste, water and release it slowly in a...

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Related quote

William McDonough

And to use something as elegant as a tree? Imagine this design assignment: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, makes complex sugars and foods, changes...

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John Maeda

What’s next for technology and design? A lot less thinking about technology for technology’s sake, and a lot more thinking about design. Art humanizes technology and makes it understandable. Design...

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George Wald

Four elements, Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, also provide an example of the astonishing togetherness of our universe. They make up the "organic" molecules that constitute living organisms on a...

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Owen Gingerich

Nevertheless, just as I believe that the Book of Scripture illumines the pathway to God, so I believe that the Book of Nature, with its astonishing details-the blade of grass, the Conus cedonulli, or the...

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Hal Abelson

We have also obtained a glimpse of another crucial idea about languages and program design. This is the approach of statified design, the notion that a complex system should be structured as a sequence...

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Thomas Berry

There is a spiritual capacity in carbon as there is a carbon component functioning in our highest spiritual experience. If some scientists consider that all this is merely a material process, then what...

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James Turrell

The Meeting is actually like the Gunpowder Meeting, or some of the earlier American Quaker MeetingsThe long house form is something that was traditionthat's what I started with as an idea. But then making...

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Jesse James Garrett

A good designer can create a design that accommodates all the constraints and still delivers an elegant, satisfying experience to the user. A great designer can go beyond this and create a design that...

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Abraham de Moivre

Further, the same Arguments which explode the Notion of Luck, may, on the other side, be useful in some Cases to establish a due comparison between Chance and Design: We may imagine Chance and Design to...

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Dieter Rams

Good design is innovative 2. Good design makes a product useful 3. Good design is aesthetic 4. Good design makes a product understandable 5. Good design is unobtrusive 6. Good design is honest 7....

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is in nature a parallel unity which corresponds to the unity in the mind and makes it available. This methodizing mind meets no resistance in its attempts. The scattered blocks, with which it strives...

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What is it about wearing a tuxedo or that little black dress, that makes us feel confident, beautiful, splendid, even invincible? We put on formal wear and suddenly we become extraordinary. On the days...

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People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It's not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology,...

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What is the central core of the subject [computer science]? What is it that distinguishes it from the separate subjects with which it is related? What is the linking thread which gathers these disparate...

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Victoria Moran

We do children an enormous disservice when we assume that they cannot appreciate anything beyond drive through fare and nutritionally marginal, kid-targeted convenience foods. Our children are capable...

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Sloane Crosley

and there's something about having an especially different name that makes it difficult to imagine what you would be like as a Jennifer.

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Joss Whedon

Equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity, we need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every...

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Robert M. Pirsig

Why, for example, should a group of simple, stable compounds of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen struggle for billions of years to organize themselves into a professor of chemistry? What's the motive?

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George Wald

I tell my students, with a feeling of pride that I hope they will share, that the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen that make up ninety-nine per cent of our living substance were cooked in the deep interiors...

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Thom Hartmann

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Seth Godin

When we think of design, we usually imagine things that are chosen because they are designed. Vases or comic books or architecture... It turns out, though, that most of what we make or design is actually...

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― Dr. Seuss