Pitch TedX Amsterdam 2014 – Paperboat project

Well, here we go…

Today we’ve pitched our Paperboat project before the 12-headed TedX jury.
Fingers crossed!


Watch our pitch:

Read the full text:

The power of imagination

Before we begin our story, we want to share with you where our adventure started:

You might wonder why we’re giving you these blank pieces of common A4 paper
Because you could say there’s nothing special about them
Quite a logical response, because you do see loads paper every day.
In fact you use about half a kilo of paper per day.
And we throw more than half of it away again, about 125 kilos of paper per household in the Netherlands each year.
Paper is the second biggest part of our annual waste production, we throw more paper away than plastic.

We humans produce so much waste,
we buy enormous amounts of stuff and at the same absurd pace we throw it all away again.
We produce mountains of garbage, heaps of waste paper, floating isles of plastic soup.
It might seem impossible to reverse this environmental catastrophe.
Because what can one small person do for a global waste problem?

Well, don’t say something is impossible too quickly.
We want to show you what happens if you unleash your power of imagination on a topic like waste.

Our imagination was triggered while staying in a remote part of France. It was January and it had been raining for weeks. The whole area was flooded. We were confined indoors with nothing more than a stack of old paper to light the fire.
So what do you do when you’re bored to death with nothing more than old paper?
You start to fold paper boats.
And we did.
Heaps of them, and on a dry day we went outside and set them asail in the drowned lands.
But when we watched our little armada float away, we started to imagine what a great adventure it would be if we could sail away in a paper boat ourselves.

As I’ve said before, there are mountains of trash everywhere, heaps of waste paper.
All that waste still has a value.
You could think of paper as a sort of wood, so we thought why not?
Why not build a boat out of paper?

So we set out to build paper boats.
We collected old cardboard boxes, newspapers and magazines and bravely started building.
The first ones sank.
Of course, what do you expect when you throw a cardboard box into the water?
But we went back to the drawing board and tried again and again.
The third one finally stayed afloat.
And now more than a year later, this little paper boat still floats.

Our success fuelled our imagination.
So we pushed it a little further.
Would it be possible to build a biodegradable paper boat?

Our last boat BINCKIE a 5 m long boat that can seat 6 persons, is fully bio-degradable, so you can toss it on the compost heap after use. And who knows, next year, it might become a beautiful flower.
So we hope you might reconsider what you throw away in the future, because it just might become a boat.

We help people, companies, students to discover the power of their imagination and creativity.
Imagining something that seems impossible is a dream. To do what seems impossible is an adventure.
Sailing in a paper boat, something that is destined to sink, is a fantastic experience.
The paperboat has proven to be a powerful tool to get the message across that your waste is valuable.
All our passengers now have a different view on garbage.
They felt it.
We didn’t put an idea in their mind, but we put it in their hearts.

We turned our blank piece of paper into a live-sized paper boat.
Which by the way took only a fraction of the 125 kg, so image the amount of boats you can build with that.

we’ve turned our paper into a boat
maybe you’ll turn the paper into a flower, a car or a poem
use the paper to visualise your dream

Because if you do what you dream
nothing is impossible

Interview Binckie Den Haag FM

The brave journalist Willemijn de Koning from Den Haag FM joined us during the maiden voyage of Binckie as our first passenger. She was later joined by Sabrina Lindeman who organised the I’M BINCK festival and Hassan El Houari, district director Laak for the festive commissioning of Binckie.

Unbothered by the fact that she was sitting in a paper boat she took this interview:

IMBINCK_PapBinckie - I'm Binck Festival 07
Photography Maarten Fleskens

See the whole article (in Dutch) here:

Lauch of Binckie

After 2 months of intensive building we finally launched our new paperboat Binckie at shipyard ‘De Haas’ during the I’M BINCK festival in The Hague, the Netherlands on October 11th 2014. Binckie (Paperboat 5) is part of the Paperboat project and was built for the festival to act as a ferry. Binckie is 5 m long boat that can seat up to 6 persons and is fully bio-degradable, so you can toss it on the compost heap after use. And who knows, next year, it might become a beautiful flower. So we hope you might reconsider what you throw away in the future, because it just might become a boat.

Marsel Loermans made this great little movie about the memorable moment Binckie first went into the water:

Binckie - I'm Binck Festival 01
Photography Maarten Fleskens

Binckie - I'm Binck Festival 02
Photography Maarten Fleskens

Binckie - I'm Binck Festival 03
Photography Maarten Fleskens

Binckie - I'm Binck Festival 04
Photography Maarten Fleskens

Binckie - I'm Binck Festival 05
Photography Maarten Fleskens

Binckie - I'm Binck Festival 06
Photography Maarten Fleskens

Paperboat at the Groene Grachten in Amsterdam

On the 14th of September we presented Paperboat 3 during the ‘Groene Grachten’ and the Solar Boat Race, an event about sustainability and technology initiated by Wubbo Ockels. Our little paper boat was presented at ‘Het Plein van de Toekomst’ or ‘Future Plaza’ in English. And of course we’ve tried it out in the canals of Amsterdam amidst the impressive solar boats.

Groene Grachten-Cris Toala Olivares
Photography Cris Toala Olivares

Paperboat 3 - Groene Grachten
Photography Gert Ockers

Unnoticed Art Festival, the final presentation

On Sunday the 31st in August, the final presentation of the Unnoticed Art Festival took place in Pictura, Dordrecht the Netherlands. And afternoon with lectures and discussions and of course re-enactments of the original festival that took place in Haarlem on the 17th and 18th of May this year. As expected with such a title the performances ignored the presentation and the presentation the performances.

Together with Malou van Doormaal we reflected on our experiences during the festival.

You can find a link to a report in Dutch here.

I’M BINCK festival 2014


This year our Paperboat project is going to be a part of the I’M BINCK festival coming October. The festival features the ‘Binckhorst’, a remarkable industrial area in The Hague. Circular economy is one of the main topics of the festival, so we’re going to use paper waste like cardboard boxes and newspapers from the Binckhorst for the build of our new boat.
Our new boat will be launched in the beginning of October and will operate as a ferry during the festival.
So join us for a boat trip in October!

I'M BINCK festival - MMG 01
Photography Jonathan Roorda

I'M BINCK festival - MMG 02
Photography Jonathan Roorda

Paperboat 4 : Our first bio-degradable boat


Today we’ve tested Paperboat 4, the first bio-degradable boat. The boat is constructed with used cardboard and old newspapers, and the glue is solely made of organic materials. So you can throw it on the compost heap after use! And next year it could become a beautiful flower.
Since we made a canoe we thought we might as well test it in the waves on the beach in Scheveningen.
And it survived the forces of nature!





Unnoticed Art Festival 2014

On May 17th and 18th 2014 the first edition of the Unnoticed Art Festival took place in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The festival is a concept of Frans van Lent, a Dutch performance artist, and was about artistic interventions and performances taking place in public space without framing it as art, thus by all probability being ‘unnoticed’. An interesting experiment: how would the public react to art performances and interventions they might not recognise as such? We we’re in for an exiting weekend, that was certain. All the artists invited didn’t knew until the very last moment which city we were heading for. It turned out to be Haarlem, a small city north of Amsterdam.

Our intervention was to leave tiny paper boats amongst the fall-out of our consumer society and other garbage which people tend to leave carelessly behind in cities.

Little Paperboats 1 - Unnoticed Art Festival

Little Paperboats 2 - Unnoticed Art Festival

Of course we were amidst a group of inspired and remarkable fellow artists, amongst other Malou van Doormaal who started the festival by shouting once and not uttering another word for the remainder of the festival, only to conclude the festival with another shout.

Marnik Neven pasted blanc paper on a wall in a tunnel underneath the train station.


And Jeroen Jongeleen marked an image with small poles in the grass and started to trace the image by running the alongside the poles to emboss the pattern in the grass, like an elephant trail. Mind you, he needed to run the same distance as a marathon to leave an imprint.





Unnoticed Art Festival 2014

On May 17-18 222lodge will be organising the Unnoticed Art Festival 2014.
We’re happy to announce that we will be a part of this year’s edition.

“The festival for Unnoticed Art balances on the line between public and private. It shows artworks hiding in normality. The language, used to express the works, fits in the average social behaviour in public space and, because of that, will probably remain unnoticed to bystanders. The location of the festival will remain secret. That way the passers-by will be accidental and without knowledge of the occasion. They have their own aims, their own occupations, their own thoughts.
The final meeting of the festival (including re-enactments and the presentation of the book Unnoticed Art) will be at Pictura Dordrecht, August 31st 2014!”

If you like the concept, please help to realise the festival with a small donation.

Unnoticed Art Festival from Frans van Lent on Vimeo.

So be warned! You might just encounter a performance or a work of art without noticing it!

Other participants are: Rafael Abreu Canedo, Sarah Boulton, Derek Dadian-Smith, Craig Damrauer, Dino Dinco, Mr. &Mrs. Gray, Linda Hesh, Hiroomi Horiuchi, David Horvitz, Daan den Houter, Jeroen Jongeleen, Ienke Kastelein, Jonathan Keats, Kees Koomen, Margreet Kramer, Gavin Krastin, Steef van Lent, Gretta Louw, Lilla Magyari, Andrew McNiven, Janet Meany, Tim Miller, Marnik Neven, Joyce Overheul, Nico Parlevliet, Malin Peter, Jess Rose, Julie Rozman, Roekoe M, Joshua Schwebel, Jack Segbars, Edwin Stolk, Topp & Dubio.