House of Cardboard

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cardboard-designerThis document outlines a plan for cardboard reclaiming pilot project on Samos (Greece), Karlovasi area. The goal is threefold:

  1. Gradually remove excess of cardboard that is visibly overflowing trash containers in the area (and being wasted without separation and recycling system).
  2. Find intelligent ways to use cardboard as structural materials, to build useful and beautiful things.
  3. Inspire and educate those who are interested enough, to help them replicate this activity in their places (and add new ideas to the pool).

As usual, we will follow principles of Open Source Appropriate Technology.

Where do we start from

Before the and of August, we will open our workshop in new location in Agios Dimitrios, ~5 km East from Karlovasi. The place is suitable to run small-scale testing and prototyping activity.

We have basic means of transport: bicycle and trailer, which is good enough to go and collect cardboard, preferably before it gets to the dumpsters.

Finally, we have this very website, and connected resources (chat groups and soon a Facebook page) to let you, folks, know what is going on and invite you to participate.

What is the plan

  1. Testing technologies
    To make useful things out of cardboard, first we need to learn how to make it lasting. Waterproofed, scratch and smear resistant and generally good-looking.
    So we will be cutting, gluing, stitching, riveting. Painting, varnishing, laminating and testing, testing, testing.
    The good thing is that with the coming autumn and spring, we will have more just the sunshine and wind to test our tech — cold rain is in order, too. So, soon we should know how to make cardboard things survive elements.
  2. Testing constructions.
    There is a wealth of cardboard constructions available for implementation. See the gallery.

    We will be learning-by-making them and then teach everyone how to build them. We will be also using them ourselves. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in it.

  3. Gathering people.
    You are all invited to join the fun. Making things of cardboard is easy and is great activity to keep your kids busy, too. It is also a great “gateway” to general DIY activity. Cardboard is cheap, friendly and forgiving and if you feel uneasy to start with woodworking or such, you absolutely can give cardboard a try.
    We will try to organize some events for people interested in cardboard constructions — if you want to help with it, talk to us immediately! 🙂
  4. Spreading the idea.
    By principle, we are friendly, cooperative and supportive to everyone who wants to join the idea. There is enough of cardboard on Samos for us all, and new transports are coming every day. 😉 So if you want to run similar activity someplace around, we will be happy to help — and possibly join forces.

Here is detailed budget for the first 3 months of the seed phase (assuming we will raise enough funding)

And here is an analysis of multiple influence of our project on the world around us.

How you, Dear Reader, can help.

First of all, if you like the idea, follow this blog. To the right of the screen, you have couple options how to do it. Choose one and make sure you will be updated, as the project advances.

If you feel you have some interesting things to write, there is a comment box at the bottom of this text, waiting for you. Comments are moderated, so please stay on topic, be civil and do not spam. If you prefer FaceBook, there is a page and a group there as well.

Then, give yourself a bit of time to think if — and how — you would be happy to contribute. We can immediately use some help:

  • finding friendly place for educational event
  • finding sources (a shop, a warehouse or another type of company) of good quality cardboard for free
  • getting some supplies for our work (paper tape, varnish, latex and acrylic paint, heavy duty aluminum foil, glue, basic tools)
  • …or just seeing you and working together on the project.

Once you make up your mind, just contact us and let’s coordinate!

Thank you for bearing with us.

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