Bill McDonough, the keynote speaker at Greenbuild 2014 in New Orleans, always inspires and challenges the way we look at the world with new insights and innovative design ideas. It is clear that he sees a urgent need for better design across the board, particularly with regard to material health and product transparency. He is quick to add many examples of how sustainable design, in products, buildings and communities, is a positive engine of innovation. Using nature as a design inspiration, he asks questions such as:
Why isn’t orange juice in a container made from orange peel?
Why should a business make anything that it can’t use or sell?
McDonough always imparts pearls of wisdom, and this year was no exception, and here are just a few:
A toxin is a material in the wrong place.
A tool is good or bad by the intention of the wielder, it depends on how it is used.
Knowing better but doing it anyway is negligence.
Regulations are a signal of design failure.
We need to move from taking more than we give, to giving more than we take.
Urging everyone to ‘think with your heart, and feel with your head’, McDonough’s final thought for the 2014 Greenbuild audience was potent, practical, and poignant:
“Making it right is going to take all of us and it is going to take forever, that is the point.”