While we normally focus solely on commercial design, we couldn't pass this by: The PBS show Design Squad recently held a competition called Trash to Treasure. Co-sponsored by Intel, the competition challenged kids to design entirely new products from discarded items and materials. The entries had to move things or people, protect the environment, or be played with inside or outdoors.
Here's the part us social responsibility nuts love: The winner was 12-year-old Max Wallack, who crafted The Home Dome, temporary housing for those in need of shelter, out of packing peanuts and plastic bags. The dome is anchored by a built-in bed that uses the weight of the dome's occupant to anchor the structure.
Even more fun, as part of his prize, he got a trip to the Newton, Mass. offices of Continuum (the minds behind a bevy of products, including Allsteel's Acuity Chair), to build a prototype. Check it out: