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William McDonough is a world-renowned architect and designer and winner of three U.S. presidential awards: 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."
McDonough has been a leader in the sustainable development movement since its inception. 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. He 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. He and German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (North Point Press, 2002), which has now been published in German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean translations. The two were also the subject of a 2001 documentary video, The Next Industrial Revolution, from Earthome Productions.
McDonough is founder and principal of two design firms. William McDonough + Partners, Architecture and Community Design, has created numerous landmarks of the sustainability movement since 1981, designing homes, offices, corporate campuses, academic buildings, communities, and cities. McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) employs a comprehensive Cradle to Cradle design protocol to chemical benchmarking, supply-chain integration, energy and materials assessment, clean-production qualification, and sustainability issue management and optimization. McDonough and his firms have received numerous national and international architectural, environmental, industrial and design awards for their work.
A recognized leader in sustainable design and development, he 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 for a wide range of audiences both internationally and in the U.S.
McDonough is Consulting Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, U.S. Chair of the Board of Councilors of the China-U.S.Center for Sustainable Development, and Chair of the Board of Overseers for the Center for Eco-Intelligent Management at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid. He is a board member for The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, as well as the Management Committee of HRH The Prince of Wales's Business & The Environment Programme at Cambridge University. He is a venture partner with Vantage Point Venture Partners, a $2.8 billion global technology venture capital firm with a dedicated CleanTech practice group. From 1994-1999, McDonough was the Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture and Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia.