STARTS Prize Exhibition


Gijs Schalkx (NL)

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Honorary Mention STARTS PRIZE ’22

„Gijs’ proposal is not only ingenious but also very successful.”
Excerpt from the statement of the jury

A year-long quest on keeping the combustion engine alive in a fossil free future and celebrating the power and agency that DIY culture brings. Why depend on big corporations and their promises to save the world when you can do it yourself? The Slootmotor is the one vehicle that truly delivers an alternative. Instead of relying on high-technology, incomprehensible devices, and resources from all over the world, it is powered by local, sustainable, and environmentally cooling sources. The fuel is harvested with minimal tools and DIY solutions, straight from your neighborhood pond or roadside ditch. Methane gas is many times worse for our environment than CO2, and by capturing these gasses before they enter our atmosphere, it can be used as a simple source of energy.

Through harvesting my own energy to fuel my combustion engine and supply myself with one of my greatest desires, I am bringing awareness to the processes and infrastructures that are sustaining us in the background of our society. Providing a new, more direct understanding of how desire, effort, reward, and impact balance out again. A method of bringing back means and ends together, rather than hiding the means behind complicated technology and slick devices as design has been doing for years. It might take eight hours to fill up the tank in order to drive 20 kilometers, but these 20 kilometers are the best of my life.

All knowledge, drawings, sketches, and videos are available on, it gives agency over our own desires.


Gijs Schalkx (NL) is a designer, artist and indie engineer. The power of DIY is central to his work. By combining speculative strategies with hands-on experimentation, Gijs believes we can become agents of our own desires once more. And that (sometimes ridiculous) actions can become a catalyzing force for people to imagine how the world could be different (in a way they could never have imagined before) and to act upon things as a result.


The STARTS Prize has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 956603.