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A Biodegradable Doormat That Promotes Nonviolent Actions

This fairly normal domestic object–the doormat–has a clever catch phrase that serves as the answer to home intrusion.

It’s always a good exercise to step back and think about the kind of world you want to live in. While in the Designed Good office this week, I decided I wanted to live in a world in which the answer to combating violence could be a doormat.

This week, Designed Good is featuring a fairly normal domestic object—the doormat—whose clever catch phrase serves as an answer to home intrusion. In other words, the objects offer some wit for would-be-robbers or armed intruders, to literally stumble upon.

Reed Wilson Design created his line of doormats in response to the American Design Club’s show Threat. “The aim of the show was to showcase products that were designed to thwart or combat any potential home intruders,” said Lilian Crum from Reed Wilson. “Thinking about how much we didn’t want to be in hand-to-hand combat with someone who had just broken into the house, we figured we’d attempt to stop them before such an intrusion occurred—hence, ‘The Neighbors Have Better Stuff.’”

Design is most interesting when it’s functional—and this doormat takes functional to a whole new level. Wouldn’t you want to scuff your muddy hiking shoes on the same surface that wards off an awkward (or, on a serious note, dangerous) face-off in your home?

Of course, a funny doormat might not actually be the answer to home safety. But we can’t deny that it’s a nonviolent answer that might—just might—make someone think twice about hurting the people inside that clearly have a sense of humor.

I’m also always impressed when great design is accompanied by great materials: Each mat is composed of recycled vinyl and sustainable coconut fibers, the latter of which are all-natural and taken directly from coconut husks. These biodegradable materials decompose naturally, that is, through biological or bacterial processes. This ensures that the doormats are in line with sustainability, domestic peace, and the kind of quippy comeback we all aspire to.

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