In 2008, the then 20-year old Timmy de Vos- went to Nicaragua. There he saw other Europeans working together with locals in setting up projects with a focus on durabillity. It inspired him to start his own projects. By now, that has led to de Vos creating the E-Waste Race and working together with a designer to build an arcade game, working on old mobile phones in stead of coins.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 13.12.58He‘s a Zeeuwse Eindhovenaar who studied at TU/e. His companion is an Design Academy Alumnus: Joris Petterson. Together they built the trash-powered arcades, a product of Eindhoven. “The city has plenty of options to set up a project like this. A designer like Joris is here because of the Design Academy, I came to Eindhoven because of TU/e, furthermore, our ideas have been accepted and pushed forward by the city of Eindhoven and primary schools have implemented our projects. It’s easy to work here.”

Eén van de arcadekasten van de Vos en Petterson.

Eén van de arcadekasten van de Vos en Petterson.

The duo’s first arcade has been finished. “It works like this: Where a user usually would insert a coin, now they insert an old mobile phone. The phone drops, and the game starts. After this, we would like to do the same, but this time with empty batteries”, says de Vos. At the Dutch Design Week in October, three more arcades have to be finished and by the end of 2016 De Vos would like to deliver ten more to different Primary Schools in the city.

“I want people to learn by playing that being durable is important.” De Vos focuses on a young group, who then, in effect, pass the message to an older group. With his second project: the E-Waste Race, ten primary schools compete to gather the most electronical waste. “Only a third of all electric garbage gets recycled properly, most of it, like empty batteries, remains in a half-empty drawer or closet somewhere. By stimulating children on a primary school, I hope I’m raising awareness which will help them in recycling their electric waste and hopefully they pass on the message to their parents.”

In the future, De Vos hopes to expand the E-waste Race outside of Dutch schools. “If we could expand to two new European countries in the next two years I would be satisfied. Maybe, after that we could even expand across the ocean.”

De Vos was one of the speakers at 2nd Friday in the Conference Center at High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.