This past week, the authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart have released the awaited follow-up to their successful landmark book on sustainable design, Cradle to Cradle, which they wrote over ten years ago. Their new book, The Upcycle, takes their experience of putting sustainable ideas into practice in many different arenas, and translates that mindset into thinking about the future as we build and create new objects and technologies. The idea is that we don’t necessarily have to design to maintain the status quo, but we can design to actually improve our lives into the future.
Some of the key ideas are as simple as putting our various waste materials in their proper places, seeing our waste as potential material for reuse, thinking about the next steps in the present moment, and keeping beneficial intentions in mind while designing. While not exactly revolutionary in and of themselves, all of the little points make a whole that would make a great difference in what we work to create together.