Tuesday, August 18, 2009

University Students Discuss "Cradle to Cradle"

As the school year starts, all of the incoming freshmen in the Fine and Performing Arts at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania will be discussing the book "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" (left) by architect William McDonough (right) and environmental chemist Michael Braungart. Assigning a freshman text is a tradition maintained by Dean William Mowder and having this year's reading on the topic of design is significant.

This extraodinary manifesto for more sustainable design of objects and environments puts forth a new model for industry that proposes to aim higher than "being less bad" and seeks to "grow prosperity, celebrate community, and create more habitat, more health, more clean water, and more delight."

They say "we can re-design the very foundations of industry, creating systems that purify air, land and water; use current solar income and generate no toxic waste; use only safe, healthful, regenerative materials; and whose benefits enhance all life."

Some are not as optimistic as McDonough and Braungart about the willingness of big business to do more than pay lip-service to their claims of being "environmentally friendly". This should lead to lively discussions. You might want to try this out with your students.

Click on the heading above to go to McDonough's site about "Cradle to Cradle."

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