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Airbnb launches $1M fund to build wackiest house designs

A New Zealand home listed on Airbnb that's shaped like a boot. (Photo Provided/Airbnb via CNN)

 (CNN) — From a house shaped like a boot to a room in a UFO, Airbnb has some crazy listings. Now, the company wants to get even more one-of-a-kind rentals on its site — with help from creative customers.

The company this week announced the Unique Airbnb Fund, which dedicates $1 million to finance unique homes across the globe. Ten designers who come up with the “most unconventional and unusual spaces on the planet” will be awarded $100,000 to build their idea into a reality, the company said.

All submissions will be judged by panelists, including style icon and award-winning actor Billy Porter, Airbnb Superhost Kristie Wolfe, of the Big Idaho Potato Hotel, and architecture firm MVRDV.

“The only thing better than pushing the boundaries of style is empowering others to do the same,” Porter said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to join Airbnb in this global search for the most outrageous, spectacular home ideas ever. I can’t wait to see these concepts developed by design lovers from around the world.”

Design enthusiasts who apply will be judged based on creativity, feasibility, sustainability and social good, Airbnb said. The company said it’s also looking for designs with “unusual shapes, unexpected locations, immersive concepts, (and) spaces with a story.”

The company’s competition comes amid a surge in popularity for non-traditional rentals. Searches for unique stays, such as tiny houses, windmills, and shepherds huts, have increased by nearly 70% over last year, according to Airbnb.

Designers have until April 15 to submit their proposals.The ten winners will be announced by May 15.

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