Architecture for Humanity and Rubicon National Social Innovations invited entrants to create innovative ways of converting used mattresses into useful products. The competition encouraged 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 created designs that take into account the volume of mattress waste generated each year. Groups were encouraged to utilize local resources, including existing manufacturing facilities and other waste products.
Lead Mattress Sponsor: Keetsa Eco Friendly Mattresses
Lead Sponsor: ISPA
Hosted by Rubicon National Social Innovations and Architecture for Humanity
Challenge | Design Constraints | Videos | Resources
|Helix by Nicole Knox and Grace Dalman
Helix addresses the negative effects of noise on a person’s health
|Deconstructing and Reconstructing Sleep by RHWL students
A design that aims to regenerate the abandoned mattress into a fluid landscape.
|Silk City by Romulus Sim
A model of sustainable urban agriculture through the collaboration of discarded mattresses and silk production.
|Judges Choice: Chairtress by Nicole Jui, Brad Sherman, and Nicholas Skari
Judges Choice: Dream on by Rafael Roldao
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.
Architecture for Humanity and Rubicon National Social Innovations invited entrants to create innovative ways of converting used mattresses into useful products.
The competition encouraged 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 created designs that take into account the volume of mattress waste generated each year.
Groups were encouraged to utilize local resources, including existing manufacturing facilities and other waste products.
Design Teams considered 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!
Mattress facts and dumping information:
I have two questions about the competition: 1. 80% of the final product has to be made from mattress components - is this measured by weight, volume, or cost? 2. No virgin materials may be used - does this include finishes such as paint or dye or any protective coatings?
Answer: Approximately 80% of the material of the final product must be from mattresses. This can be weight or volume. This can be a rough estimate, as long it is in the spirit of the competition---that the final product aims to be close to 100% recycled content, mostly from mattresses. In terms of non-virgin material usage, priority will be given to projects that do not use any virgin materials, however, you will not be disqualified if you use a small amount of virgin materials. If you have a great idea, I would say just go for it!