Posted by: PatrickJL | September 26, 2008

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 U.S. 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.

Design Constraints:

Design Teams should consider the following:

  • 80% of final product must come from the mattress itself. Preference will be given to entries whose product utilizes all mattress parts and leaves minimum unused materials.
  • The designs will be judged on over-all product design, low-cost deconstruction and manufacturing, and innovative re-use of materials to create an amazing, affordable consumer product.
  • Additional materials may be included, but must be recycled and/or waste products. No “virgin” materials.
  • Processing and production needs to be replicable at a large scale (approximately 10,000 mattresses per month per facility).
  • Entries must include a detailed description of de-construction and production process either by diagrams or text. Entrants are encouraged to use readily available tools and industrial machines.
  • Size of mattress may vary and can be decided by the entrant. See ‘Resources’ for technical information.
  • Teams are limited to up to 5 individuals.
  • Priority will also be given to designs with cost-effective manufacturing processes.
  • The Super Prize goes out to the team that has the most fun!

[via open architecture network]


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