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May 16 issue - Imagine buildings that generate more energy than they consume and factories whose waste water is clean enough to drink. William McDonough has accomplished these tasks and more. Architect, industrial designer and founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry in Charlottesville, Va., he's not your traditional environmentalist. Others may expend their energy fighting for stricter environmental regulations and repeating the mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle." McDonough's vision for the future includes factories so safe they need no regulation, and novel, safe materials that can be totally reprocessed into new goods, so there's no reason to scale back consumption (or lose jobs). In short, he wants to overhaul the Industrial Revolution—which would sound crazy if he weren't working with Fortune 500 companies and the government of China to make it happen. The recipient of two U.S. presidential honors and the National Design Award, McDonough is the former dean of architecture at the University of Virginia and co-chair of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. He spoke in New York recently with NEWSWEEK's Anne Underwood.