Thursday, 8 October 2009

Cradle to Cradle: Remade the Way I Think

Before enrolling onto my MA (fashion and the environment), I was sent a reading list. This first book that I brought was Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Micahael Braungart and William McDonough as a friend had previously recommended it.

The book was incredibly easy to read, almost like a novel, and written in a humorous way. The writers' reveal their own experiences of designing sustainably, in turn offering advice and case studies (notably Henry Ford).

I was both shocked and amazed by what was written about production, the amount of chemicals put into products are emitted, making our homes probably more dangerous to be in than outside.

Their idea of creating pure products, for example a plastic book (the first edition was a replicla of this), that could be melted down safely and formed into a new book was interesting and made sense as a way of saving trees and recycling paper (a hugely energy intensive process).

A design process they suggest is mimicry, looking for inspiration from nature:

Our products and processes can be most effective when they are resonant with information and responses - when they most resemble the living world.

This Book is well, well, well worth a read. It has certainly made an impact, at a recent event I kept hearing individuals referring to the cradle to cradle approach and as mentioned in the intoduction to the 2008 edition, large companies like Phillips and Haewlett-Packard are pursueing the strategy.

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