Apr 7, 2008

Talking Point (#26) Cradle to Cradle

In PARK(ing) we encourage you to beg, borrow, recycle, reuse and compost as many materials as possible, because as much as construction is a consideration of PARK(ing) the quick and easy disassembly is critical.

Unfortunately in most design processes there is often little thought about the disassembly and "end life" of material, products, buildings etc but McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry are leaders in changing this design paradigm through "Cradle to Cradle Design".

Instead of just eco-efficiency (minimising waste, pollution, and natural resource depletion) "Cradle to Cradle" strives to shift how things get made towards "eco-effectiveness". One of the central design principle is that "waste equals food" and all materials are viewed as continuously valuable, circulating in closed loops of production, use, and recycling. Go find the book and it literally practices what it preaches choosing to be printed on an innovative polymer film instead of paper, and can be reused in other industrial processes

One of the men behind the idea, William McDonough, is an architect so prehaps it's not a surprising they have taken this thinking to the built environment. In 2005 they ran a design competition for Cradle to Cradle Homes which generated some brilliant ideas that they are actually building.

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