Cardboard Tech Institute is Ben T. Matchstick and Pete Talbot, who use their combined powers as artists, educators, and makers to bring audiences, students and customers interactive events and products made from the reworked packages of the shipping industry. Chat with them during the MHA Convention Expo in the Parkview event area off Nick Universe on Monday, Jan. 26 from noon-8 and Tuesday, Jan. 27 from 9-3.
Pete Talbot:
Our flagship product, the PinBox 3000, is a combined effort of ten years of collaboration coupled with access to rapid prototyping tools, and common manufacturing processes. We are building a movement of makers, creative thinkers, and game designers and it all starts with bending cardboard. Are you ready to Tilt the Future?
– What inspired it?
Pete Talbot: We have been working together for 10 years as artists and educators, bending cardboard all along the way. But the PinBox 3000 truly got its start at the Generator Maker Space in Burlington, Vermont. After a two month residency in early 2015, we launched our prototype onto Kickstarter in the spring, raising $14,900. We manufactured and assembled 2000 kits locally. Our next crowdfunding campaign, for our more optimized edition, activated an international maker and gamer community as well as local investors, who helped to raise over $100,000. Our HQ is located at the Alternator, on 388 Pine St, in the heart of the South Side Arts District in Burlington VT.
– What do you like most about what you do?
Pete Talbot: What I like most about what I do is the design challenges involved with the creative re-imagining of the possibilities of cardboard. Cardboard Teck Instantute has been disrupting the waste stream since 2006.

– What sets it apart?
Pete Talbot: Cardboard Teck Instantute is a think tank devoted to the creation and development of products and experiences that emphasize the versatility, durability, and accessibility of cardboard. CTI emerges from the remnants of an overgrown shipping and packaging industry, pulling out interdisciplinary and interactive performances and products.

– How does it help homeschooling families?

Pete Talbot: The PinBox 3000 offers a tactile, screen-free alternative to tap-swipe digital-heavy Learning tools. The Cardboard Teck Instantute’s PinBox 3000 system is a cardboard customizable tabletop pinball machine kit and foundational tool. An innovative and accessible design allows for multiple levels of participation. To build the PinBox 3000 is to master its functionality, which in turn builds confidence, multiplying the possibilities when it’s time to design your unique, custom play boards. The open platform gives educators the opportunity to enhance classroom content into playable dioramas.
– What comments do you hear from students and parents who use the PinBox 3000?
Pete Talbot: Multiple times, parents have commented that they’ve never seen their child be engaged for so long. They’ve commented on the sparks of inspiration they see their kids have while working on their designs. They’re happy about the way it can be hung on the wall for vertical display and storage. They’re happy about how it’s not a loud game and as a system it’s focused on the creative use of recycled and repurposed materials. That it’s an art-centric active game promoting sustainability with eco conscious ethics.
Together we can Tilt the Future!