Cradle to Cradle & The Upcycle Books

book cover with open pages


Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Authored by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Published in 2002 by North Point Press

William McDonough and Michael Braungart co-wrote this design manifesto in 2002. The book calls for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. Through case studies of their work, McDonough and Braungart outline their design paradigm and the vision for the ‘Next Industrial Revolution.’ Cradle to Cradle design perceives the safe and productive processes of nature’s ‘biological metabolism’ as a model for developing a ‘technical metabolism’ for industrial materials. All products can be designed for continuous recovery and reutilization as biological or techncial nutrients within these metabolisms.  Learn more on


The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance

by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

Published in 2013 from North Point Press

The Upcycle Book: Beyond Sustainability--Designing for AbundanceThe Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Cradle to Cradle, one of the most consequential ecological manifestos of our time. Evocative and provocative as ever, William McDonough and Michael Braungart imagine how human society might, at last, begin to rewrite its role in the history of the natural world. In The Upcycle,  the best-selling authors offer numerous fascinating scenarios in which humans transcend the role of mere stewards of the planet. Instead, they suggest, why not become co-creators of the simplest invention ever: abundance? Drawing on a decade of lessons in putting Cradle to Cradle concepts into practice with businesses, governments, and people around the world, McDonough and Braungart invite us to reimagine everything from doorknobs to the Hoover Dam. In a world that uses design as a tool for positive impact, industry can do better than “do no harm”: it can actively improve everything with which it comes into contact.  Learn more on