William McDonough
International Renowned Architect and Designer

William McDonough is an internationally renowned designer and one of the primary proponents and shapers of what he and his partners call ‘The Next Industrial Revolution.’ Time magazine recognized him in 1999 as a ‘Hero for the Planet’, stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways-is changing the design of the world.” Time Magazine again recognized McDonough and Michael Braungart as “Heroes of the Environment” in October 2007. In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor; and in 2003 earned the U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. In 2004 he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. In October 2007, McDonough was elected an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.  McDonough is the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, an internationally recognized design firm practicing ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent architecture and planning in the U.S. and abroad. He is also principal of MBDC, a product and systems development firm assisting prominent client companies in designing profitable and environmentally intelligent solutions. William McDonough is a member of the advisory council at VantagePoint Venture Partners in San Bruno, California. McDonough is an Alumni Research Professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and Consulting Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.  In 2012, McDonough collaborated with Stanford University to establish a “living archive” of McDonough’s professional papers and communications serving as its centerline.


William McDonough also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. Board of Councilors of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. He is a founding member of the Sustainability Leadership Council at Cambridge University. From 1994-1999, McDonough was the Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture and Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Starting in 1999, McDonough became the Alumni Research Chair and Visiting Executive Lecturer for the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.  He also serves as a board member to the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.


Author of several written works, William McDonough has lectured extensively on his design philosophy and practice. He was commissioned in 1991 to write The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability as guidelines for the City of Hannover’s EXPO 2000, and in 1993 to give the Centennial Sermon at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. More recently, William McDonough co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, with Michael Braungart, published in 2002 by North Point Press.  His leadership in sustainable development is recognized widely, both in the U.S. and internationally.  In 2014, the World Economic Forum announced the appointment of William McDonough to Chair of the Forum’s Meta-Council on the Circular Economy.  As Chair, McDonough supervises the Forum’s efforts to establish proof of the circular economy concept and its benefits.

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Cradle to Cradle
Remaking the Way We Make Things
North Point Press

A manifesto for a radically different philosophy and practice of manufacture and environmentalism "Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other...

Trade Paperback
The UpcycleBeyond Sustainability--Designing for Abundance
North Point Press

From the authors of Cradle to Cradle, we learn what’s next: The Upcycle The Upcycle is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Cradle to Cradle, one of the most...

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things: Based on William McDonough’s book co-written with colleague Michael Braungart, McDonough delivers a presentation on their new design paradigm, which stresses cooperation with natural systems. He offers practical steps for any business interested in re-designing their methods of production to fit our greater knowledge of the earth. As his book argues, re-invention is our best hope for a future of sustained prosperity.

Praise for Cradle to Cradle

"Environmentalists too rarely apply the ecological wisdom of life to our problems. Asking how a cherry tree would design an energy efficient building is only one of the creative 'practices' that McDonough and Braungart spread, like a field of wild flowers, before their readers. This book will give you renewed hope that, indeed, 'it is darkest before the dawn'."
--Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club


"[McDonough and Braungart's] ideas are bold, imaginative, and deserving of serious attention." 
--Ben Ehrenreich, Mother Jones magazine


"[A] clear, accessible manifesto... the authors' original concepts are an inspiring reminder that humans are capable to much more elegant environmental solutions than the ones we've settled for in the last half-century." 
--Publishers Weekly


"A readable provocative treatise that 'gets outside the box' in a huge way. Timely and inspiring." 
--Kirkus Reviews


"Achieving the great economic transition to more equitable, ecologically sustainable societies requires nothing less than a design revolution—beyond today's fossilized industrialism. This enlightened and enlightening book shows us how—and indeed, that 'God is in the details.' A must for every library and every concerned citizen."
--Hazel Henderson, author of Building a Win-Win World and Beyond Globalization: Shaping a Sustainable Global Economy