Discarded dreams leading to design creativity


This month, Rubicon National Social Innovation (RNSI) and Goodwill Silicon Valley are launching a mattress recycling facility to tackle two challenges: reducing the amount of mattresses in landfills and training homeless veterans in a career that holds potential for independence.

The facility comes on the heels of "Discarded Dreams," the 1st international industrial design competition focuses on recycling mattress and boxspring materials. The competition, launched by RNSI in association with Architecture for Humanity (AFH), and sponsored by Keetsa Mattress and the International Sleep Products Association, tasked entrants with repurposing the 40 million mattresses that get tossed into landfills each year. What if, instead of being dumped as trash, these mattresses and box springs could be turned into new products?

Entrants were judged on their innovation as well as feasibility of large-scale commercialization. The results are now available (along with their plans) on AFH's Open Architecture Network and include:


1st Place: Helix, which designed acoustical panels for use as office partitions or room soundproofing.


2nd Place: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Sleep, which consisted of the design of a permanent shelter composed of deconstructed mattress components.


3rd Place: Silk City which reimagined a future cityscape as a model of sustainable urban agriculture focused on silk production.
Two Judge's Choice Awards also were given to Chairtress, which turns an old mattress into a chair, and Dream On, a streamlined sofa made from recycled mattresses.

TheChairtress  Dream on 01

And while we're speaking about AFH, they're got another call for entries underway for Re:Vision Dallas.

The premise is this: The City of Dallas and Urban Re:Vision (in partnership with Central Dallas CDC and BC Workshop) want to you create a prototype for an innovative, sustainable urban community. How can we redefine urban space in a restorative way? The competition focuses on a specific city block and here's the thing: The results are real. The city has purchased the land and the Mayor of Dallas has granted his support to re-envision it. 

Deadline for registration is April 15 and deadline for entry is April 30. The jury (comprising Cameron Sinclair, Eric Corey Freed, Peter Head, Pliny Fisk, and Sergio Palleroni) will choose three finalists (who get $25,000 each) and three honorable mentions ($1,000 each). The top three finalists will receive a consultation with Central Dallas CDC (but these meetings do not guarantee that winners will be hired).

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