Cradle to Cradle – William McDonough & Michael Braungart

August 16, 2009 § Leave a comment


This book was on my reading list for one of my courses this semester. But I really only decided to read it because of one line that jumped right out of the page at me:

This book is not a tree.

Reading the paragraph that followed this sentence, I found out that this book was seriously not a tree, or made from any tree products. Instead, it was made of some synthetic material which is water-proof, extremely durable, and even recyclable after use! The whole point behind their deciding to use this kind of material for the book was to bring forward the fact that we should start thinking outside of the box for newer, more innovative ideas and solutions to the environmental crisis we’re facing today.

I have to say, this book did bring some new thoughts into my head. Before reading this book, I never really realised how us humans tend to think that everything we do, everything that we want, all of our development and progress has to be at the expense of nature and the environment. The way the authors put it, if we could all just shift the way we think and design things, perhaps the things that we want can actually be in tune with nature.

This book was quite an interesting one. I definitely didn’t expect a ‘textbook’ to be quite this amusing. But it did get a little repetitive towards the middle, with the authors repeating and reiterating points and examples that they had already mentioned in previous chapters.

In a nutshell, I think the book was quite successful in that it made me think. Myself being an architecture student, I’m constantly being pushed by tutors to test the boundaries, to think outside the box, to produce the extraordinary. In a way, this book managed to inspire me, encouraging me to take a different approach when facing a design challenge. It kind of makes me go, “What if I did {insert some crazy idea} instead of the usual {insert a common practice}?”

Conclusion: Not as ‘radical’ as I thought it would be, but still managed to get me sort-of excited. I’ll rate it at.. 3.5?


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