Web Design

Airbnb to Give $100,000 to Homeowners With Craziest Rental

There are a lot of design and architecture awards out there: From incredibly prestigious honors such as the Pritzker Prize to local competitions, there are hundreds of ways to be recognized for moving, innovative, and impactful work. But a new architecture competition upends the traditional molds. Instead judges want to see how crazy of a design someone can dream up. Enter: the Airbnb OMG! Fund.

The short-term rental company announced last week that it would award 100 people $100,000 to bring their otherworldly design ideas to life. The fund is named after the “OMG” category on the website, where users can find unusual lodging options, like a spaceship, a crane, or a pirate ship (currently, there are over 30,000 listings within this group). The company is soliciting “anyone with an out-of-this-world idea,” whether an architect, designer, or DIY’er, to enter their proposal into the competition for the opportunity to have Airbnb fund the actual construction. 

The Boot, an Airbnb in New Zealand, brings the classic nursery rhyme, “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,” to life. 

Four judges will asses the entries, looking for originality, feasibility, sustainability, and the experience the project will provide to potential guests. Iris Apfel, interior designer and fashion icon, is likely the most notable name on the panel, though Koichi Takada, founder of Sydney-based international studio Koichi Takada Architects; Bruce Vaughn, Airbnb’s VP of Experiential Creative Product; and Airbnb superhost Kristie Wolfe, who the company described as a “prolific creator of OMG! Listings,” will also participate in evaluating entries. For inspiration, check out some of Wolfe’s funky Airbnbs, like a Potato Hotel, Crystal Peak Lookout, Big Island Tree House and Cocoon Cottage.  

Spend the night in a big spud in this Idaho potato Airbnb created and designed by Kristie Wolfe.

The company noted a growing trend in flexible living as a catalyst for the competition, noting that Airbnb guests were craving more unexpected spaces as destinations themselves, rather than just places to crash after a long day of exploring a new locale. Candidates can submit their entries at Airbnb’s website before the contest closes on July 22 at 11:59 p.m. E.T.  

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