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Kakün: the all-in-one portable sleeping set for refugees & campers

Sustainable, lightweight, portable all-in-one bed with a 1:1 model benefiting displaced persons awaiting resettlement.

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Kukün is a portable, lightweight, recycled all-in-one sleeping system that includes an inflatable sleeping pad, pillow, and sleeping bag for campers and displaced persons. 

This is a 1:1 product - when you buy a Kukün, one is given to a refugee or displaced person. We believe that each person deserves a comfortable place to feel safe. Each Kukün made is bright & individual using Nike Grind textiles on the top to give people who have something special they can call their own when they may not otherwise have much.

The Kakün

This sleeping system is an all-in-one portable, inflatable bed which includes a built-in comforter & pillow top and inflatable headrest. The Kakün is topped with unique Nike Grind rubber flashings to give each user (campers & refugees) a feeling of individuality while they sleep. Initial development, prototyping, and production would be crowd-sourced, with the eventual objective of partnering with aid organizations like the Red Cross, International Refugee Committee, Doctors Without Borders, or similar aid networks, and outdoor companies with a dedication to doing societal good (e.g. REI, Coleman).

The Need

Campers - These users head camping every once in awhile to Big Sur, Yellowstone, or a festival, but these are not the campers that are going to climb Mt. Everest. They want an all-in-one, simple solution to their camping sleeping set without putting hours of research into individual products. They are willing to pay a little extra for convenience and the feel-good factor of buying a 1:1 product. 

Refugees/Homeless - The bed is designed for individuals (twin-sized) and families (queen-sized), and by having a comforter cover as opposed to a traditional sleeping bag design, members of the family will be able to leave during the night with minimal disruption to others in the bed. The bed is meant to provide a comfortable bedding option for displaced persons who are awaiting either resettlement or to return home in refugee camps, who may be traveling or may be in temporary improvised housing for prolonged periods of time. The bed would have two inflatable chambers, one which could be filled for a headrest, and a larger chamber making up the inside of the bed, and while the covering comforter is attached as it comes, could be removed and used as a rug, entry flap, or blanket once sheets or other items are acquired. The comforter could then be reattached using a hook/ button system using the flashings.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)


Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The Lower portion of Kakün is comprised of a rubber base (Rubber Outsole Scrap), then an air pocket with foam blocks (EVA Foam) That both add structure and seals the top half of the inflation pocket. This is followed by Footwear Fiber (Fluff) wrapped in linen (Apparel Textile) that adds cushion and allows for the lining to be removable without needing dissemble the entire system. The upper portion of Kakün is made up of a hard-shell exterior (Rubber outsole and flashing) that provides protection when the bed is wrapped up, eliminating the need for a carrying case/bag. Another nice feature of using the rubber outsole and flashing, is that each Kakün will look unique as its a recycled blend of colors. This makes the 1 for 1 brand mission more engaging and personable. Underneath that layer is a fluff layer that gives heat retention and makes the bed cozy. Our first steps in prototyping the Kakün are to obtain materials and get mock ups made of the final textiles at 1/4 scale. This will give a better understanding of the material properties and what materials can be sewn together. Using RF welding, we can mock up the vessel that will ultimately become the mattress portion of Kakün. Following the initial material fabrication and scale exercises , we will work on set up and transpiration of the bed and how we can efficiently make this a durable but transportable product that appeals to consumers and refugees. Tools to complete the initial phases include; RF welding, sewing, compression molding, and riveting.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Primary Segment: (The Customer) “The Casual Camper” These users want an all-in-one, simple solution to their camping sleeping set without putting hours of research into individual products. They are willing to pay a little extra for convenience and the feel-good factor of buying a 1:1 product. Secondary Segment: (The Beneficiary) “Refugee or Homeless Person” There are 4000 new refugees every day. Each possession they own needs to be useful and special; the Kukün fulfills both of these needs

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

The idea will be introduced initially through crowd-sourcing via Kickstarter or similar crowd-sourcing platforms, targeted both at those aiming to help with global relief and/or outdoor recreation. Two key obstacles will be: 1) reaching consumers and 2) reaching refugees/ displaced persons. The first can be solved through both the kickstarter/ social media, followed by partnering with a distributor in the recreation/ camping space. The second would involve working with organizations like the IRC, Doctors without borders, and World-relief.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

We are a team made up of the Oru Kayak Industrial Product Designer, Shutterstock UX Designer, 3DR Product Designer, GFK UX Researcher, and a professional Opera Singer / Web Designer.

In what city are you located?

San Francisco/ Bay Area

In what country are you located?


What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

As a top idea, our team will begin to truly prototype and test our solution with Nike Grind materials. Our team consists of a multitude of designers ranging from industrial to UX to Graphic that are all eager to start building.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Nick and team! Great to see you in the Challenge! Could you please provide more content for the submission question, "How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?" How might you begin to turn the raw Nike Grind materials into your final product? How might you begin to prototype step-by-step?

With the deadline fast-approaching at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, please ensure all of your final updates are completed by then. Excited to learn more!

Photo of Nick

Hey Lauren,

Thanks for the feedback! We will get this addressed promptly.

Let us know if you have any other comments, feedback, or suggestions :).

Thanks again,