On Saturday, littleBits joined the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for their annual Imagination Foundation Challenge. This year’s inspiration was 9-year-old Caine Monroy, who built an elaborate, cardboard arcade in his garage.

To honor the 2013 Caine’s Arcade Global Cardboard Challengewe present some incredible projects created mostly with the boxes other people throw away.

1. Bike to Work on the Box it Came In

Industrial design engineer Izhar Gafni developed a technique for folding, gluing and waterproofing cardboard in a way that made it strong enough to ride.

2. C.I.T Makes a C.A.V.E.


The Cardboard Institute of Technology created this massive, subterranean cave out of cardboard for the Exploratorium Art and Science of Human Perception Museum.

3. Whatever Floats Your Boat

Every year, MIT students build competition boats out of cardboard, paper tape and paint. The winners get bragging rights. The losers get wet.

4. This Printer Was Trash Before You Bought It

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It often seems like printers are designed to be thrown away in a year, but new state laws make it illegal to throw them in the trash. So Samsung came up with the cardboard laser printer. The housing is made of recycled cardboard so it’s easy to break down and recycle again at the end of its life.

5. Cardboard Helps a City Come Back from a Crisis

After a 6.3 magnitude earthquake destroyed the iconic Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, architect Shigeru Ban brought the people back together with a replacement building made of cardboard tubes. “Even concrete buildings can be destroyed by earthquakes very easily, but paper buildings cannot.”


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