Imagine a building like a tree. A building that cleans water and the air, makes oxygen, generates soil and nutrients.


Many positive beneficial characteristics of trees can be translated into the design of buildings, increasing the quality of life for humans and our environment. With this approach we are able to transform today’s universal architecture into a far better quality for buildings.

The built environment is our created habitat and an expression of our culture and the values of our society. Many great intentions are embodied in traditional buildings, and it’s time to include the intention of being beneficial, in terms of our longer term impact.

The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Design integrates economic, ecological and social benefits in products and buildings. The starting point is that everything is designed to be a nutrient for something else.

Buildings are able to function as healthy material banks, where materials maintain their status as resources which can be used over and over again.

A Cradle to Cradle building celebrates innovation by defining materials as part of biological and technical cycles to actively improve the quality of biodiversity, air, and water, all while being energy positive.

The exhibition explores beneficial architecture, and the exact meaning of “buildings like trees, cities like forests”. An abstract visualization of our battle as the confrontation of two buildings symbolises the frontline between conventional and C2C architecture, which celebrates our beneficial human footprint.

The Battlefield

A Building Like a Tree –
A City Like a Forest

Today’s Universal
Architecture

Read our Building Blocks

Download Poster
EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH / Hamburg

Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to Cradle is used to design comprehensively positive economic, cultural and environmental qualities into materials, products, buildings and communities.

Cradle to Cradle design improves quality by:

  • Generating added value for stakeholders
  • Producing positive impacts for users
  • Integrating economic, ecological and social benefits

Materials are designed as biological or technical nutrients
Learn more

Reporting from our Front

Join our journey at the Biennale. Footprint Days, other events and its media coverage.

Go to the frontline

Our Projects

One Gram of Soil representsOne Syrian Refugeethat lost its Homesince the War in Syria began.


Let‘s celebrate their Human Footprint.

The conflict in Syria has caused millions of refugees to leave their homes and flee to Europe and other safe parts of the world. Europe’s response has revealed cracks in its foundation of solidarity, cooperation and unity. What did we learn from our history? The solution needs more than bureaucracy and rules to overcome fear and feelings of distrust. Every day, now and in the future, we want to fight for human rights and humane conditions for all of us. Europe has the resources and capacity to continue to be a safe place for people in need.

Whatever our cultural backgrounds might be, we all desire to live in a safe and healthy environment. When you question the human right to live in a safe environment, people become angry and greedy. If people feel safe, accepted and valued, they are always kind and generous – even the poorest of the poor. Respecting people and looking at what they can do, instead of what they cannot, increases their contribution to society and their dignity at the same time.

This is why it is so important to celebrate our human footprint and live by a positive agenda. Cradle to Cradle stands for a society that celebrates our possibilities, inventiveness, and diversity.

You too can make a positive change: celebrate your positive human footprint! Only then will we be able to bring the humanity back and say: “Welcome to the planet, how wonderful that you are here!”

In a small gesture of solidarity and in recognition of their forgotten suffering, the 7 million grams of local soil that has been used in this exhibition represent each of the displaced people in Syria who were forced to flee their homes. The soil is intended to be transformed into real human footprints until the end of the Biennale. You are invited to leave your footprint behind!