‘Fort Duke’ Sets World Record With Reused Cardboard Boxes

Campus project highlights Duke Arts Festival's sustainability theme

Despite intermittent rain Friday, a group of Duke students, faculty and staff set the world record for largest cardboard fort.

Dubbed "Fort Duke," the structure comprised 3,500 used cardboard boxes that were collected when students moved in on campus in August. It stood 16 feet tall and occupied a 70-by-70 square foot area on the Chapel Quad. At its core was a tower surrounding the James B. Duke statue.

"Fort Duke is our attempt to not only break the world record -- that's the fun part -- but it's also a way to get everybody out to do a creative art installation that can teach us about how much we use on campus and promoter sustainable behavior," said Arwen Buchholz, recycling and waste reduction coordinator at Sustainable Duke.

The fort was designed by Todd Berreth, a research programmer in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies. About 300 people participated in the construction of the building over the course of 10 hours. The structure was dismantled the same day and the boxes were then recycled.

The event kicked off this semester's Duke Arts Festival, which has a theme of using recycled materials and promoting messages of environmental stewardship.

The organizers of Fort Duke were the Duke Arts Festival, Sustainable Duke, and Duke Sanitation and Recycling Services.