INHABITAT: In the Book Cradle to Cradle you mentioned ever so briefly the concept of delight, celebration and fun -- can you talk a little bit about the quality designs, the delight of design, and how people engage with a product through design?
William McDonough: I really think the thing that I find most exciting for me as a designer is that once you get away from all the meat and potatoes stuff of safety, health and whatever – there is the creative side. For example, I’m designing a building in Barcelona, it’s a laboratory tower, and we are working on materials. We’ve got the paint and the tiles made with the right stuff, but there are these two triangular floorplates that are laboratories for pharmaceuticals. It has a 15 story glass atrium that the scientists walk through. They're afforded a view of Barcelona - at the north side are all these plants growing on it, and at the south side it is all shading.
The floor plan is in big triangles, and I came back from a trip and people in my office are saying, “Bill, I have trouble laying out all the tile with the walls because they’re radial and the outside is curved. You have to cut every tile to get these patterns. They won’t line up.” In response I say “Look, let’s save some money and have some fun.” I proposed taking the floor plan and starting with the tiles, just tiling the whole floor, then putting the walls up. That way you can remove the walls and you afford yourself the ability to change the building into apartments.