William McDonough

Leader in architectural design, William McDonough has been acknowledged for his achievements and influence in the sustainable design industry. Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1951, McDonough grew up in both Japan and later Hong Kong, an experience that had a profound impact on his life and future work as a designer. It was during this time McDonough was first introduced to closed loop material cycles. He is the co-founder of Cradle to Cradle consulting firm MBDC, and is actively involved in his architecture practice, William McDonough + Partners. Separately McDonough advises commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Innovation (formerly McDonough Advisors). Other not-for-profit organizations McDonough assisted in establishing include: Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and GreenBlue. Both organizations allow public accessibility to Cradle to Cradle thinking. McDonough is invested in educating his colleagues and industry influencers on design; what he defines as the first signal of human intention. He has authored and published several written works on this principle that are still recognized today, including: The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, co-authored with Michael Braungart, and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance, also co-authored with Braungart. Most recently, William McDonough proposed A New Language For Carbon, which recognizes the element carbon as an asset rather than the enemy. Honors and accolades received throughout his career:

  • First ever U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries, 2003.
  • National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design, 2004.
  • 21st Century Visionary Science Leadership Award, U.S. EPA, 2008.
  • US Green Building Council Leadership Award, 2016.
  • Fortune Award for Circular Economy Leadership for outstanding contribution to the development of a prosperous and sustainable economy, 2017.

Notable and award-winning projects:

  • Ford River Rouge truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan
  • NASA’s Sustainability Base
  • Park 20|20
  • ICEhouse™

Additional resources:

Speaker at: 
SUSTAINABLE BRANDS '13

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