Spotlight: Into the Solution Box with William McDonough

Graphic and composite by New Dimensions

From the lineage of Thomas Jefferson and Buckminster Fuller emerges another brilliant prophet of the possible. Architect William McDonough is carrying the banner of “anticipatory design science” to this generation. The central question that drives McDonough’s work is: “How can we best serve all the children of all species, for all time?” He challenged himself to sum up his philosophy in less than twenty-five words and came up with this: “We hope for a delightful, safe and healthy world with clean water and renewable power; economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed.”

Three of these four MP3s are specially selected from a 6-Part program series New Dimensions produced with William McDonough entitled “The Monticello Dialogues.” They address the ecological crisis that we are in, how waging peace would change how we approach the natural world, why we need to exchange eco-efficiency for eco-effectiveness, and more.  These dialogues will move you, inspire you, and inform you.


William McDonoughThe Monticello Dialogues, Part 1: Democratic Design
with William McDonough

Program #2900
MP3 Download
Buy here $1.99

McDonough shares how his early life growing up in Hong Kong affected his worldview, and how his work has been influenced by innovative designs of Thomas Jefferson. He describes his work with chemist Michael Braungart in designing from the point of view of nature. Read more »


William McDonoughThe Monticello Dialogues, Part 3: Design As Celebration
with William McDonough

Program #2902
MP3 Download
Buy here $1.99

McDonough views life as a design opportunity. He asks such questions as, “What would it mean to rise from the ground here in a way that honors all beings, in a way that’s a celebration of life, instead of a fear of death?” This deep dialogue gives us much to contemplate regarding an expanded awareness of ecology, intelligence, justice, and celebration. Read more »


William McDonoughThe Monticello Dialogues, Part 5: Designing Peace
with William McDonough

Program #2974
MP3 Download
Buy here $1.99

In this wide-ranging dialogue, McDonough walks us through how waging peace rather than war is in the best interest of all peoples and the planet. He explores, from a designer’s unique perspective, what the opposite of war would look like. He posits that if Thomas Jefferson were with us today a Bill of Responsibilities would replace the Bill of Rights. Read more »


William McDonoughPrincipled Design Based On The Laws Of Nature
with William McDonough

Program #3455
MP3 Download
Buy here $1.99

McDonough describes what is meant by the idea of “Cradle to Cradle,” and says “Things are designed to either go back to biology or back to technology without contaminating each other.” He tells us that we can and must design things to go back into an intelligent material pool for human benefit without contaminating the environment. Read more »