Architectural 3D Bench


Valeria Fernández Maldonado

Turning Cigarette Butts Into Park Benches | National Geographic


Everyday we discard 1 kilogram of trash for every habitant, we are 4,199,292 habitants in Monterrey (the third biggest city in the country). Trash is one of the starter points and sources of infections, illnesses, and environmental pollution. The problem in this city, and definitely is in other cities too, is that the streets are full of trash. To be more specific, cigarette butts are constantly thrown on the streets rather than thrown to the cigarette waste receptacles. If the tobacco is eaten by children or animals, it can potentially cause fatal poisoning. Some effects are nausea, respiratory arrest, and even comma and seizures. It is time for the smokers to become more responsible and help the community by  leaving the streets clean. Dropped cigarette butts have also caused building fires, but most of all, huge forest fires. My project plan is to create a architecturalcollaborative bench, in which part of the design is glass and can be used as a container for  cigarette waste. As the glass container fills up, the design will become much more clearer. The purpose for this 3D bench is to teach people to stop throwing cigarettes on the streets  and/or environment. This is a tempting and fun activity, but the streets fill up . One cigarette butt at a time. With this project, the citizens will now be placing cigarette butts into the bench, and creating filling up the design. But in reality, they are also helping the community become cleaner. This architectural design will not give out a negative message, it  is not meant  to encourage  others  to  smoke more, the design is meant to blend in with nature.


#1 Ballot Bin:

-This ashtray is an easily changeable sign that can have questions written on with magnetic letters or dry-wipe marker.

-A voting system encourages use of the ashtray, users vote by simply dropping their cigarette butt into one of the two bins.

-The ashtray is secured by two locks on the side.

-Once unlocked, the bins can be easily removed for emptying and cleaning, and the sign can be changed or updated.

-The ashtray can be mounted to any railing or pole, or even directly onto a wall.

-The questions can be easily changed by the Ballot Bin owner. They can be funny, topical, provocative or whatever works for your audience.

-Smokers find these ashtrays much more engaging than the alternatives and are more likely to use them.

“Independent evaluation shows the Ballot Bin reduces cigarette butt litter by 46%.”


#2 palm sized, portable ashtray:

-Butt pollution is best solved directly with smokers themselves

-Made of heat resistant ABS plastic

-Lasts about 12 months and is reusable for that time.

-Shaped like butt(ocks) it hopefully encourages the correct disposal of these pesky pollutants, biodegradable


#3 ash receptacles

-Ash receptacles at all entry/exit points of buildings, at bus stops, and other areas where people frequently need to discard their cigarettes.

-According to Keep America Beautiful, which is conducting a scientific study on cigarette littering behavior, these “Transition Points” are the places smokers need to discard their cigarettes before entering buildings or getting on a bus.

-Once installed, these receptacles need to be monitored and maintained regularly;

-Once smokers become accustomed to using these receptacles you may need to add more to keep up with the cigarette waste being properly discarded.

-Studies show that more ashtrays help.



Do you smoke?

Yes 21

No 0

What do you smoke?

Classic tobacco 17

Electronic cigarettes 3

I don’t smoke 0

Do you often smoke in the park, street, bus stops, etc? If so where most often?

1 Yes in the park

2 i dont go to bus stops but outside my house and sometimes the park

3 I smoke in miradores so that can be considered the street. There are not cigarette litters in these areas.

4 Park

5 I don’t smoke in any mentioned areas, only in my house or my friends house, but a lot of people go to the park or street to smoke and throw it to the ground.

6 No

7 Street and Park.

8 Yes mostly the park

9 Outside my house

10 I usually smoke with my friends in the park or in their houses

11 I do smoke in the park and in the street but I do not go to bus stops

12 I smoke mostly in my car and honestly, I do throw them to the streets.

13 The park

14 Only at parties in the garden and sometimes outside the streets

15 I smoke anywhere but I do not litter since its electric

16 I often smoke in the park

17 I smoke electronic cigarettes in my house or at parties

18 Terrace

19 I smoke in the park, house, and car

20 Everywhere, any place that has a smoking area

21 I usually smoke at night in the park

How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?

Electronic cigarettes 3

1 – 5 8

5 – 10 4

10 – 20 6

20 – 30 0

30 – 40 0

More than 40 (Please state how many) 0

Do you have good accessibility to cigarette butt litters?

Yes 9

No 12

Do you consider cigarette filters as litter

Yes 20

No 1

Did you know that cigarettes are the most littered item on earth and contain more than 7,000 chemicals, such as arsenic (used to kill rats) and formaldehyde (used to preserve dead animals, and humans, too).

Littered cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals into the environment and can contaminate water. The toxic exposure can poison fish, as well as animals who eat cigarette butts.

Yes 1

Kind of 15

No 5

Do you think that more accessibility and quantity of ashtrays will help prevent this form of litter?

Yes 18

No 3


  • Existing Conditions
  • Elements
    Small glass structure
    Metal structure
    Nature style
  • Utilities
    Resting and easy access to cigarette littering
  • Neighborhood Context
    Since its a round about the streets will be much cleaner and the island itself
  • Circulation
    Tree in the middle
    Metal doors for cleaning the inside
  • Sensory
    Sage and clean
  • Potential
    Clean cigarette butts and the environment of the San Pedro de Pinta




  • Glass (Flexible Glass)
    • Thickness of 1 inch
  • Concrete (Painted Red)


  • Height of 65 inches
    • Sitting  access of 18 inches
    • No  sitting access of 47 inches
  • Base Level 1 radius of
  • Base Level 2 radius of
  • Base Level 3 radius of

Google Document: Please visit




Share this project
  1. April 27, 2018 by Rachel Dauby

    Hi Val: It’s super cool to see your whole project all together now, having seen many of the bits and pieces in progress for some time now. It is very thorough, and your collected data really adds to the gravity of the problem your city and many others face today. Awesome work!

  2. April 29, 2018 by Arman.Ozgen

    It was really cool to understand that these benches would also help with the environmental problem with the littering of cigarettes. I did not know that cigarettes contained that many chemicals.

  3. May 02, 2018 by Kailah.Adams

    Hi Valerie, great job on your project! I really like how this project isn’t necessarily a building but is still very strong in architectural design! Also, I really enjoyed reading your survey answers, I believe those contextualize how much of an issue cigarette smoking might be.

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