Recycled Cardboard Hearts

Jenny Einhorn | Week 7

Beijing Children Participated in a building activity to exercise math and creativity skills. As a Golden week celebration, Collective Paper Aesthetics, a Rotterdam based design initiative, provided 1,000 recycled pre-cut cardboard to manipulate for a design purpose.

This is a creative alternative to typical building blocks, and bridges the gap of child play and innovation.


The Heart Board Pyramid project was a success in the 728 International Children Art Festival. By providing an artistic medium, math becomes creative and fun for the visitors of all ages. The play-units were easily assembled and could be used much like building blocks to construct inventive new formations. The pop-up art space accommodated hundreds of children and parents, leaving the sky as the limit for the youngster’s creativity.

Children are commonly recognized as being extremely creative and innovative in nature, they only lose this creative intuition as they are assimilated into our culture which emphasizes deductive reasoning.  it is valuable to harness that raw innovation that kids have.


Collective Paper Aesthetics takes pride in using 100 percent recycled, non-printed cardboard for their creations, which can then be recycled again after use. Each of the 1,000 pieces were formed into a final display of a Mega Heart, one four-sided pyramid, one three-sided pyramid, an igloo, and several spheres, hearts, and squares for kids to explore. The projects took only two hours to expertly unfold and pack up for the next installation.

I like that this idea is adaptable to multiple situations and durable for many exhibitions.  I also really like that kids are involved, I think kids are an untaped resource for innovation and creativity, they are untainted by the rules and regulations that we grow up to simply accept rather than challenge.

I am curious what would happen if the kids were allowed even more freedom in designing the cut shape of the cardboard, or if the assembly process was different. We should recognize this project as a precedent for future innovation- refer to the kids!

I also wonder what the reasoning was behind the heart motif… the basic three sides of the heart dirrectly correspond with the 3 edges of the triangular shape of the cardboard. could other shapes be used as effectively?



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