What is Regenerative Design, Cradle to Cradle or C2C Design?

1. Overview of the Topic – Summary:

From Wikipedia: Regenerative design is a process-oriented systems theory based approach to design. The term “regenerative” describes processes that restore, renew or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature. The basis is derived from systems ecology with a closed loop input–output model or a model in which the output is greater than or equal to the input with all outputs viable and all inputs accounted for.

From Wikipedia: Cradle to Cradle Design™ (also referred to as Cradle to CradleC2Ccradle 2 cradle, or regenerative design) is a biomimetic approach to the design of products and systems that models human industry on nature’s processes viewing materials as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. The term itself is a play on the popular corporate phrase “Cradle to Grave,” implying that the C2C model is sustainable and considerate of life and future generations (i.e. from the birth, or “cradle,” of one generation to the next versus from birth to death, or “grave,” within the same generation.)

2. What is the focus of this Topic?:

From Wikipedia: Regenerative design is the biomimicry of ecosystems that provide for all human systems to function as a closed viable ecological economics system for all industry. It parallels ecosystems in that organic (biotic) and synthetic (abiotic) material is not just metabolized but metamorphosed into new viable materials.

Whereas the highest aim of sustainable development is to satisfy fundamental human needs today without compromising the possibility of future generations to satisfy theirs, the end-goal of regenerative design is to redevelop systems with absolute effectiveness, that allows for the co-evolution of the human species along with other thriving species.

3. Why it’s listed here – What is the relevance to Architectural Medicine?

An important comment on the Wikipedia site states the following, “Simply put, (Regenerative design) is the design of ecosystems and human behavior, or culture that function as human habitats…the end-goal of regenerative design is to redevelop systems with absolute effectiveness, that allows for the co-evolution of the human species along with other thriving species.”

From Wikipedia: It is a holistic, economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free.[2]

As Architectural Medicine intends to support health and healing in the built environment along with supporting environmental health, the Regenerative design and Cradle to Cradle Design™ approach is supporting this process for human thriving, and this can then support best health and well being for quality of life.

4. Common groups and individuals involved with this topic:

History: John T. Lyle (1934–1998), a landscape architecture professor saw the connection between concepts developed by Bob Rodale for regenerative organic agriculture (similarities with Permaculture) and the opportunity to develop regenerative systems for all other aspects of the world. While regenerative agriculture focused solely on agriculture, Lyle expanded its concepts and use to all systems. In 1976, Lyle challenged his landscape architecture graduate students at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona to “envision a community in which daily activities were based on the value of living within the limits of available renewable resources without environmental degradation.”[8]

Sim Van der Ryn – Architect  is another pioneer in the Ecological Design field who embraces the Regenerative design concepts.

Cradle to Cradle Design™ is a licensed trademark of German chemist Michael Braungart and U.S. architect William McDonough, it’s origins are many, and often credit is given to the whole systems approach of John T. Lyle‘s regenerative design.

Architect William McDonough has been an advocate and voice of sustainable design for several decades now.

5. Resources: