**eastward movement is included



Now that my CD's exam is out of the way I took some time today to finally begin William McDonough's Cradle to Cradle. Given that it's generally assumed to be required reading for anyone in the construction/architecture/urban design world, I'm embarrassed that it has remained ignored for so many years.

About midway through the book McDonough talks about reducing the negative side effects of industrial manufacturing, and does so by using examining the cycles of growth, decay and purification that occur within nature. More specifically, he suggests that designers ought to consider the side effects of manufacturing with the same amount of deliberation and rigor that they pay to the final product:

Just about every process has side effects. But they can be deliberate and sustaining instead of unintended and pernicious. We can be humbled by the complexity and intelligence of nature's activity, and we can also be inspired by it to design some positive effects to our own enterprises instead of focusing exclusively on a single end.

This simple idea of deliberate side effects has stuck with me since I read this passage. By highlighting this reality of waste McDonough proposes a bold artistic and ethical challenge to designers of all trades and scales: How conscious do you choose to be? The questions immediately become endless:

Is this not a challenge - consider the easily overlooked circumstances - that all designers should enthusiastically embrace?
Intuitive (artistic) design is often considered separate from formal, systematic, and procedural-based design, but why is this so and why does it have to be this way?
What are you willing to ignore or set aside in order to realize your own artistic or professional endeavors?
If design is about control, is it not imperative for us to intentionally construct all conceivable outcomes?
If the by-products of a presumably "safe" or "well-designed" object/building/product are harmful or even deliberately ignored, is its value fundamentally altered?
If the objective of the design process triggers harmful outcomes, and what we build and design is an extension of our society and a representation of our values, what does this indicate as our true value set?

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New York, New York, United States
I take myself too seriously most of the time and I am trying to do that less. I remind some people of Woody Allen. I occationally indulge in the weekend camping trip. I adamantly support the Kansas City Royals baseball club. My identity is wrapped up in a few simple things, most of which are continuously displayed on this here blog.

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