Discarded Dreams: Used Mattress Design Competition

Architecture for Humanity and Rubicon National Social Innovations have announced the launch of their latest international design competition: Discarded Dreams: Used Mattress Competition.

Mattresses are our friends. For years, mattresses selflessly serve our sleeping pleasure. We should all be grateful for our mattresses; after all, most of us were conceived on one. Why then, are our mattresses being abandoned in dumps and left to the seagulls? Every year in the US, 40 million mattresses get thrown in the trash. Don’t our mattresses deserve another chance? The problem is, the nature and construction of mattresses has made them difficult to dispose of. They often end up in landfills because they cannot be broken down and their component parts are hard to utilize. Until now.

Architecture for Humanity and Rubicon National Social Innovations invite entrants to create innovative ways of converting used mattresses into useful products. The competition aims to encourage entrants to form groups capable of creating a consumer product, instructions detailing how to make the product, and a plan for production on a larger scale. Entrants must create designs that take into account the volume of mattress waste generated each year. Groups are encouraged to utilize local resources, including existing manufacturing facilities and other waste products.

The competition is open to all, and the deadline for registration and submission is December 5, 2008, after which the jury will review the submissions. The announcement of the winners will take place in February 2009. Prizes are as follows: 1st place receives $1,000; 2nd place receives $500; and the 3rd-place winner will received amazing Rubicon Bakery baked goods delivered to your door!

The winner/winners will also be invited to collaborate with Rubicon to design and execute a method of collecting and converting the mattresses into their value-added product, and potentially distributed for commercial use. This would be a unique opportunity to help an emerging social enterprise develop a product line with 100 percent reclaimed materials, create green-collar jobs, and support individuals in moving out of poverty.

For more information, please visit www.openarchitecturenetwork.org/mattress