Design, Re-design and New Industrial Paradigms

Session 03

ES/SO352 Sustainability - Session 03

S3: Design, Re-design and New Industrial Paradigms

Required readings:



  • Learn the difference between eco-efficiency and eco-effectiveness (according to William Mc Donough and Michael Braungart).
  • Cradle to Cradle design
    • Waste = Food, Use Solar Income, close loops ..., natural capitalism.
    • Upcycling, versus traditional Recycling, and Downcycling.
  • Learn the importance of (re-)"Design" production according to biological models to make things truly "sustainable"
  • Learn the basic usage of the course website (based on "Tiki" software)

Video 1: Reusing waste and more - Terracycle. (5')

What is Garbage? (2')

Chip Bag Brigade? (3')

More information: http://www.terracycle.com

Video 2: Redesigning our production: From Cradle to Cradle (50')

Waste = Food: An inspiring documentary on the Cradle to Cradle design concept of the chemist Michael Braungart and the architect William McDonough. Winner of the Silver Dragon at the Beijing International Science Film Festival 2006.

  • OUTLINE: Man is the only creature that produces landfills. Natural resources are being depleted on a rapid scale while production and consumption are rising in na­tions like China and India. The waste production world wide is enormous and if we do not do anything we will soon have turned all our resources into one big messy landfill. But there is hope. The German chemist, Michael Braungart, and the American designer-architect William McDonough are fundamentally changing the way we produce and build. If waste would become food for the biosphere or the technosphere (all the technical products we make), produc­tion and consumption could become beneficial for the planet. A design and production concept that they call Cradle to Cradle. A concept that is seen as the next industrial revolution.
    • Design every product in such a way that at the end of its lifecycle the component materials become a new resource.
    • Design buildings in such a way that they produce energy and become a friend to the environment. Large companies like Ford and Nike are working with McDonough and Braun­gart to change their production facilities and their products. They realize that economically seen waste is destruction of capital. You make something with no value. Based on their ideas the Chinese government is working towards a circular economy where Waste = Food.

    An amazing story that will definitely change your way of thinking about production and consumption. Director Rob van Hattum Research Gijs Meijer Swantee Production Karin Spiegel en Madeleine Somer Editors in Chief Doke Romeijn en Frank Wiering © VPRO 2006

Same video (to be able to start at the time you choose):

More information:

Wikipedia: Cradle to Cradle

TED. 2005. The wisdom of designing Cradle to Cradle

Other examples:

What's the main difference between the ideas in the 2 videos?

Video1: Chip Bag Parade (TerraCycle)


Video2: Waste = Food (Cradle to Cradle; William McDonough & Michael Braungart)

Page last modified on Thursday 17 of November, 2016 14:13:52