Designer McDonough to discuss "Designing a 'Green' World"

William McDonough, named 1999 Designer of the Year by Interiors magazine, will discuss Designing a “Green” World at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

McDonough, dean and Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, University of Virginia, believes global warming, toxic waste, poverty and hunger can all be designed out of existence with changes in architecture and product design, as well as energy production and use. In addition to making greater use of solar energy, McDonough argues for what he calls “cradle-to-cradle” life cycles, in which obsolescence of products leads not to the landfill or the incinerator, but to new, useful goods.

In naming McDonough 1999 Designer of the Year, Interiors magazine wrote: “Through architecture, product design and research, writing and public speaking, McDonough points up the absurdity of a host of devil’s bargains we have come to accept as inevitable: glass and steel towers guzzling oil to provide comfortable temperatures year round; inoperable windows for climate control that seal in toxic fumes from furnishings; high-quality plastic and metal crowding landfills; industrial byproducts that poison drinking water; towns where every family needs two cars to reach distant stores and workplaces. Some people call this modern life. McDonough calls it bad design.”

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