The “Complex History” mentioned below was published on, which also features an interesting essay on architecture’s “Counter-Histories of Sustainability”.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the Oscars it’s interesting to note that globe-trotting green architect Bill McDonough has been making inroads with the Hollywood eco-set, all the while losing some of his sheen as a world-saving superstar. Danielle Sacks wrote a long and very interesting, if not very complimentary, article for Fast Company recently on McDonough as the “Green Guru Gone Wrong.” I recommend reading the whole piece, along with the growing archive of reader comments. Sacks argues that McDonough’s flawed character has left behind a string of disappointments – disappointed clients, acolytes, Chinese villagers, et al. – even while his great ideas continue to thread their way around to some of the right places. For an antidote to Sacks’ iconoclasm, and to be reminded of how effectively he presents those ideas, see one of Bill’s videotaped talks on “cradle to cradle,” such as this one. (Thanks to Toby Miller’s Green Citizen blog for the Sacks/McDonough tip.)

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  1. a pretty complex history of sustainability…