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These Boxes For Refugee Supplies Double As Kids’ Toys

Designer Lisanne Koning believes kids everywhere should have access to toys.

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Refugees often receive aid shipped in cardboard boxes–which then might go to waste. One designer has created conceptual packaging that doubles a children’s toys.

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The project is called Inside the Box. Designer Lisanne Koning proposes printing colorful shapes and game boards onto cardboard boxes so that children can use the extra material as fodder for play.

[Photo: Lisanne Koning]
One game, complete with blocky dice folded together out of cardboard, looks like a pirate-themed variation on Candy Land. Another box features an illustrated backdrop with a mountain, rolling hills, desert, and beach scenes as well as cut-out animals like a camel, giraffe, and flamingo. A third box is decorated with a truck design that kids can cut out, fold, and link together to make a three-dimensional toy.

[Photo: Lisanne Koning]
“Every child deserves the chance to play untroubled no matter what the circumstances are,” Koning writes on her website. She created Inside the Box for her thesis project at Design Academy Eindhoven, and it was on display at Dutch Design Week in October.

Koning tested the idea with a group of Syrian refugees in the Netherlands. She also corresponded with a few agencies during her research, though she isn’t working with any of them to bring the idea to life, at least not yet. In theory, the only outlay for a relief agency would be a slightly inflated cost on the box because of the ink needed to print the designs.

About the author

Katharine Schwab is the deputy editor of Fast Company's technology section. Email her at kschwab@fastcompany.com and follow her on Twitter @kschwabable

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