So What’s New About Cardboard ?

Cat Box

Cat Box

The least expensive most creative toy for children ever created. A domestic cat’s destination for discovery and exploration. In our household, a burrow for the kitchen bunny in his large enclosure. Cardboard is infinitely useful and recyclable. Our business thinks so much of cardboard that we created a unique, natural brown cardboard binder for our company’s material specifications literature.

carDboard by Thierry Dumain 2013 Michelin Challenge Design

carDboard by Thierry Dumain
2013 Michelin Challenge Design

Having fun with the 2013 Michelin Challenge Design, utilizing cardboard, was Thierry Dumaine of France and the “carDboard”. Dumaine practices design and graphics as a hobby and teaches art to children for his livelihood. He describes his creation as – “a minimalist car – no door, no built-in dashboard, no hard roof, only one color, cheap materials for a minimalist price and weight. Full hybrid car with gasoline, compressed air and electrical energy – wheels can recover energy from the wind.” It’s features include – recycled cardboard for the body, recycled plastic for the chassis, no hard roof and no door for you to be close to the environment, no built-in dashboard, but you use your iPad to manage car-D-board, narrow airless tires, bubble rim (air is trapped in lot of bubbles), an engine limited to 400 cm3 accepts gas and air, maximum speed of 120 kms/h and weighing less than 300 kg.

It has a lot going for it. You may be interested in its energy perspective – it counts on wind as an important energy source and Dumaine is hoping by his design to encourage future gas stations built around wind turbines. He notes that the same engine can also use gasoline in case you haven’t enough compressed air or your battery is low and it has an independent propeller inside each wheel to create an additional source of electrical generation.

Michelin North America, Inc. (“Michelin”) created the annual Michelin Challenge Design™ to celebrate, promote, publicize and give visibility to original creative thinking and innovation in vehicle design. Michelin hopes by embracing and supporting design, they can establish a closer relationship with the design community, combining technical innovation with transportation design to create vehicles that consumers want to buy and will enjoy driving.

Cardboard Sculpture by Chris Gilmour

Cardboard Sculpture
by Chris Gilmour

Regarding the artworks of Chris Gilmour, he says in an interview shared on his website – “There has been a progression in the choice of objects portrayed, which go from smaller domestic items (like the moka or the typewriter) to objects which are larger and belong to a broader cultural context (the Fiat 500, the Lambretta). However, the reason for the choice of objects has always been pretty much the same- they call up memories and emotions connected to our experience of these (everyday) things. Since this is both a visual and conceptual work I choose objects for their visual appeal and cultural resonance, but I also usually choose objects which imply an action or interaction of some sort. The interaction of the viewer with the works seems to function as a kind of short circuit between an implied action and the impossibility of performing it: you want to open the car door, or turn the wheel on the bike, but of course you can’t. I think this immediacy is important to enter the work, to grab the viewer.”

In describing his use of cardboard, Gilmour says – “Earlier works were made with very clean cardboard because I was aiming at a hyper-realistic effect which showed the material ‘at its best’, or rather seemed to do something impossible with it, making a perfect representation- indeed, many people assumed that the works were real objects that had been painted or covered in paper. The works I am producing now are made from cardboard boxes which are still found on the street, but which show all the printing, tape, labels etc . . . I like the idea of concentrating on the material in its ‘natural state’ and playing with the idea of these beautiful objects represented with a material from the waste basket. I guess it’s about trying to be as honest as possible with the material- I don’t want it to get too clean, so you can’t see what it really is. I think it gives another dimension to the work to use scrap cardboard packaging which has been thrown away after the coveted objects it contained have been removed.”

Working Cardboard Radio by Suck UK

Working Cardboard Radio
by Suck UK

The Cardboard Radio is indeed as new as can be. Not only does it play FM radio channels, it also has an MP3 input so that you can play tunes from your iPod while on the go. The radio is made out of recycled cardboard and is powered by 4 AA batteries. If you’d rather use it at home, you can connect it with a DC adapter. Made by product design company Suck UK, the Cardboard Radio is not surprisingly, extremely lightweight at just 0.92 lbs. At 225-by-14-by-52mm, this little radio resembles the look of a hardcover book. It is said that you can simply recycle it after removing the electronic parts from the inside which are housed in a “simple card structure.”

What else can YOU do with Cardboard ? The Huffington Post Green lists 10 Unique Uses For Cardboard – Floor Protection For Events, a Knife Sheath (I actually did this with a big knife we took along on a canoe float trip for our Watermelon), as a layering material for your compost pile to balance out the composition or contain it, for separating your recyclables, for raised bed gardens or to grow potatoes in straw, as plant guards – tape a cardboard tube around vulnerable young plants, filing and organizing all that stuff you’re not ready to let go of, use it for weed control by putting a few layers down over your problematic areas, start your seedlings in your old egg cartons made of cardboard, or start your fire with it (just make sure it hasn’t been painted or waxed !!).

Because we love and appreciate trees, we definitely want materials made from the fibers of trees to have the longest possible life. We hope you have enjoyed this surprising look at a material that you may have hardly noticed, though often present in your environment. We hope that you ALWAYS reuse or recycle ALL of your cardboard.

Please Recycle or Reuse ALL of your cardboard.

Please Recycle or Reuse
ALL of your cardboard.

Information resources –

2013, carDboard by Thierry Dumaine, France –

Chris Gilmour, artistry in cardboard –

“Cardboard Radio can be recycled when you’re done with it” –

“10 Unique Uses For Cardboard” – by Networx’s Katie Marks posted 10/15/13 at HuffingtonPost Green –


Blog author ~ Deborah Hart Yemm is co-founder of
Yemm & Hart, a green materials producer



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