The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability--Designing for Abundance

The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability--Designing for Abundance

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by William McDonough, Michael Braungart
     
 

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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 consequential ecological manifestoes of our time. Now, drawing on the green living lessons gained from 10 years of putting the Cradle to Cradle concept into

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Overview


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 consequential ecological manifestoes of our time. Now, drawing on the green living lessons gained from 10 years of putting the Cradle to Cradle concept into practice with businesses, governments, and ordinary people, William McDonough and Michael Braungart envision the next step in the solution to our ecological crisis: We don't just use or reuse and recycle resources with greater effectiveness, we actually improve the natural world as we live, create, and build.
For McDonough and Braungart, the questions of resource scarcity and sustainability are questions of design. They are practical-minded visionaries: They envision beneficial designs of products, buildings, and business practices--and they show us these ideas being put to use around the world as everyday objects like chairs, cars, and factories are being reimagined not just to sustain life on the planet but to grow it. It is an eye-opening, inspiring tour of our green future as it unfolds in front of us.
The Upcycle is as ambitious as such classics as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring--but its mission is very different. McDonough and Braungart want to turn on its head our very understanding of the human role on earth: Instead of protecting the planet from human impact, why not redesign our activity to improve the environment? We can have a beneficial, sustainable footprint. Abundance for all. The goal is within our reach.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Architect McDonough and chemist Braungart (co-authors: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, 2002) tender both an attitude and a strategy for a better-designed world. The authors caused a splash a decade ago with their notion of cradle to cradle: that our goods and services can be designed with the intentionality of reuse. Here, they expand on that notion, firing off examples of achieving the upcycle--"a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy, and just world with clean air, water, soil, and power, economically, equitably, ecologically, and elegantly enjoyed"--through the proper use of design. The book is a heady engagement, a powerful to-and-fro between the authors and readers. Who would quibble that design ought to take reuse into account, that regulations are a red flag indicating the need for redesign, or that using positive ingredients to begin with is better than having to eliminate dangerous byproducts? Most interesting are the hands-on, root-to-rebirth projects they, or others, have accomplished: Their design of an experimental, high-sustaining building for NASA is a vision brought to life; infusing objects with color via reflected-light polymers rather than poisonous dyestuffs; providing plants with the specific light energy they need with solar-powered LEDs. But the authors examine wind turbines as a "pleasant visual" in one instance and a potential "blight" in another, and some readers may wonder who decides "those things we like, that are useful, pleasurable, and healthy." The authors end with a "What's Next?" section, a list of 10 points to remember, including "We Don't Have an Energy Problem. We Have a Materials-in-the-Wrong-Place Problem," "Always Be Asking What's Next" and "Add Good on Top of Subtracting Bad." Mostly stimulating and inventive.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429969055
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/16/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
205,297
File size:
1 MB

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