Boys think out of the cardboard box

Two Table View brothers are on a mission to help others, one cardboard box at a time.

Ten-year-old Kayden Biernacki and his big brother, 12-year-old Bryce have come up with a safe and cost-effective way to help people who are in need – they use cardboard boxes to build furniture.

The idea came about after they saw pictures of disaster-stricken areas and noticed that the boxes in which supplies were delivered, were often left behind.

So, why not, they thought, use those boxes to temporarily replace some of the lost or destroyed belongings? This prompted the idea to use boxes to build little chairs, tables and even beds. Surprisingly, these products are very strong, with some being able to carry up to 160kg.

“I mean, it says on the box, you can’t stand or sit on it. But we made our products so you can stand and sit on them,” said Bryce, who concedes that Kayden is the better builder.

“The reason my brother is so good with the technical stuff is because from when he was smaller, he loved working with Lego and building things with Lego,” he said.

So building things has always been in the boy’s blood.

With their mom and dad supervising projects that the boys undertake, dad shared some insight into what makes the boys a good pairing. “From the time Bryce was little, if you give him instructions, he could do Lego projects for children much older than he was. Kayden has his own ideas on how to do things. He is not a ‘by the book’ type of guy,” said dad Jake Biernacki.

Mom, Gail Biernacki, spoke of the financial aspect of the project. “The idea is to make everything as simple as possible so that anybody can construct this, so that it doesn’t take too much know-how and doesn’t take too much in the way of tools. There must be absolutely no expense. People mustn’t have to go and buy anything. The most you will have to need is just masking tape.”

The family says, if it hadn’t been for some of the projects that are offered by the boy’s school, this might not have been possible. “If it wasn’t for Parklands College, I don’t think we would have come up with an idea like this because we do art projects there that helped us,” said Bryce.

Charlotte Powell, head of public awareness and preparedness at the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre, said she thought the boys’ idea was a very good initiative. “We applaud them and other organisations and projects like this. If they would approach us, we as the City would be interested in procuring their products if they would donate to Disaster Management. We could put the organisation or project in our database.”

Kayden said he hoped that more companies and businesses would support the project and would like templates of his temporary furniture solutions to be made available to people in disaster-stricken areas.