The Monticello Dialogues, Part 2 - A Revolution in Thinking with William McDonough

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From rethinking the concept of the automobile (car as nutrition!) to the "semiology of extreme danger" (nuclear power plants), to McDonough's declaration of interdependence: which he calls The Hanover Principles, this dialogue has more new ideas per minute than all those found in line at the patent office. Spirituality is brought to the labs of the bioengineering industry, horizontal chimneys to Chinese coal fired power plants and this second in the special three-hour series recorded at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home and architectural masterpiece concludes with musings on the existence of good and evil and a look at the spiritual practitioner as celebrant. Time magazine named William McDonough a "Hero for the Planet" in 1999.


William McDonough is an anticipatory design architect. But more than that he is a philosopher for the 21st century and is asking some of the most critical questions we should be thinking about in these challenging times. He’s the former Dean of the Architecture Department at the University of Virginia, and was named “Hero of the Planet” by Time magazine. He’s also the winner of three U.S. presidential awards including the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. 

He is the author with his partner, Michael Braungart, of:

To learn more about the work of William McDonough go to and

    Topics Explored in This Dialogue

    • Who is building the first car DISassembly plant?
    • How far away is "away" when we throw things "away?"
    • Are products that last best for the Earth?
    • Would Thomas Jefferson support nuclear power?
    • Bioengineering: When does it become impossible to be a vegetarian?
    • Is sustainability the best we can hope for?
    • Is 100% fabulous even imaginable?
    • What was Jefferson's approach to spirituality?

    Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 5/17/2001      Program Number: 2901

    Music Playlist

    From Album: En-Trance
    Artist: Conrad Praetzel
    1995 Perfect Pitch Music PA-103
    Tracks - Question of Bliss, Waking the Shadows

    From Album: INNU
    Artist: Kashtin
    1991 TriStar Music WK 27832
    Track - Son of the Sun 

    From Album: Naked Vision
    Artist: John Singer
    1991 Empty Bell Music #JS-04
    Track 01: River Run
    Track 08: Summer Nights