Architect and designer William McDonough spoke at TED about “Cradle to Cradle Design”. His talk is inspiring and packed with information (I watched the video twice before I really started to capture all the concepts he was explaining).
There are several very powerful concepts he introduces, including the challenge of producing his book without using paper (it is printed on a polymer). He describes the “design challenge” of creating a tree and wonders whether books are really the best use for them:
Imagine this design assignment: [design something that] makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, makes complex sugars and food, accrues solar energy as food, creates micro-climates, changes colors with the seasons and self-replicates.
Why don’t we knock that down and write on it?
I am also listening to his “Monticello Dialogues” that were on NPR’s “New Dimensions” which are available online. I found the first installment of the series for free at Learn Out Loud. You need to add it to your cart, but there will be no charge to download it.
Watch the talk and then listen to him on the Monticello Dialogues