William McDonough + Partners

Since its founding in 1981, William McDonough + Partners has been engaged in expanding the industry's concept of quality. Traditional measures of cost, performance, and aesthetics are incomplete; ecological intelligence and social equity are also critical measures of quality. The team works toward the goal of a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world, with clean air, water, soil and power -- economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed. The firm's philosophy is rooted in Cradle to CradleSM thinking, as developed by McDonough with Michael Braungart in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (North Point Press, 2002).

Cradle to Cradle thinking suggests that everything we create can contribute positively to society, the economy, and the environment. This is the next-generation goal we are working toward using today's products and technologies. The William McDonough + Partners team is using Cradle to Cradle thinking to guide design and materials selection for new homes in the Lower 9th Ward as a part of the Make It Right project. (Cradle to CradleSM is a Service Mark of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.)

William McDonough, FAIA

William McDonough, FAIA, has been a leader in the sustainable development movement since its inception. He has won the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the National Design Award (2004), and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2003). Time magazine recognized him as a "Hero for the Planet" in 1999, stating that "his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world." He designed and built the first solar-heated house in Ireland in 1977 while still a student at Yale University, and designed the first "green office" in the U.S. for the Environmental Defense Fund in 1985. McDonough was commissioned in 1991 by the City of Hannover to write The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability, the official design guidelines for the 2000 World's Fair which the City presented to the 1992 U.N. Earth Summit in Brazil. McDonough is founder and principal of two design firms, William McDonough + Partners (WM+P) and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). He is co-author with Dr. Michael Braungart of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (North Point Press, 2002), which has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Korean. He also writes and speaks extensively on his design philosophy and practice. His vision of the hopeful, positive and inspiring possibilities of an environmentally and economically intelligent future by design has made him a highly sought-after speaker.

Katherine Grove, AIA

Katherine Grove, AIA, is a Director and Project Manager with William McDonough + Partners where she has collaborated on a range of institutional, commercial, mixed use and residential projects. Grove has served at WM+P as project manager for the new American University School of International Service in Washington, DC; the Sarah Heinz House in Pittsburgh, PA; Cave Avenue Co-Operative Housing in Banff, Alberta, Canada; the Ford Corporate Flight Center in Detroit, MI; the Center for a Sustainable Future on Coconut Island, HI; and an award-winning private residence in North Carolina. Prior to joining WM+P in 1997, Grove was a project manager and lead designer for six years at Levengood Kautter Architects in Lancaster, PA. She has also worked in architectural firms in Richmond, VA and served as a guest critic at Syracuse University and the University of Pennsylvania. Grove received a BS from the University of Virginia, a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University, and is a LEED® Accredited Professional.

Firm Profile: McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) is a product and process design consultancy firm applying the Cradle to CradleSM framework to redesign the way we make things. MBDC offers business consulting and education services, including product certification on sustainable product design.

Dr. Michael Braungart

Dr. Michael Braungart has been a professor of Process Engineering at Universität Lüneburg (Germany) since 1994 where he also serves as director of an interdisciplinary materials flow management masters program. Braungart is the scientific director of EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH (Hamburg, Germany), founded in 1987, co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry in Charlottesville, VA, and co-founder of the Hamburger Umwelt Insitute (HUI) in 1989. These organizations share a common set of values that embrace intelligent, aesthetic and eco-effective design and seek to optimize products with the Cradle to Cradle framework. Through these activities, Braungart has developed tools to design eco-effective products and business systems and has worked with a number of organizations and companies in a range of industries.

Ken Alston, CEO of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry

Ken Alston is CEO of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, the product and process design firm founded to implement Cradle to Cradle design. Since 2000 he has worked closely with William McDonough in a variety of roles, including Director of Education and Outreach at the GreenBlue Institute. In this role he helped start the project, which has since grown to become the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Under Alston's leadership, MBDC has launched a Cradle to Cradle product certification program, which is increasingly being taken up by leaders in sustainable product design. Alston has a Bachelor of Technology in Applied Chemistry from Brunel University (West London, UK) and a Master in Business Administration from Brunel/Henley Management College (Oxford, UK). He has worked in global multinational companies in a variety of technical and business roles for over 29 years. In the late 1980's, Alston developed the first environmental packaging strategy for SC Johnson in Europe where, as Marketing Director, he evaluated green marketing of cleaning products with consumers.