The OAN launched its latest competition yesterday. Sponsored by Google SketchUp, "Sportables" invites designers, architects and dreamers to design a portable sports product library, product development studio, and soccer field. Here's the pitch:
Nothing connects kids like the power of play. In areas of great need are opportunities to use sports as a catalyst for social change. Where resources are scarce, products can be distributed to deliver vital services. In many parts of the world sporting activities, especially local and traditional sports, are being incorporated into a variety of programs geared toward helping youth address a broad range of issues affecting their lives. By emphasizing a "team" approach, these programs help impart the skills needed by the next generation to overcome the many challenges faced by their countries, from poverty to HIV/AIDS, malnutrition to low educational access. The Sportables play area and product library aims to provide the youth in communities with limited resources the opportunity to play sports safely, securely, and frequently.
Transport yourself to Capao Redondo, a densely packed, but colorful, friendly and energetic settlement on the outskirts of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Here the youth run through the narrow alleys and small spaces mimicking the moves of football heroes like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, but in bare feet. Open space is a premium, and not always available (i.e. market spaces). Your challenge is to design a solution to create a highly demountable, portable sports product library, product development studio, and futsal (soccer) play area. This "pop-up" facility will be deployed to provide much needed (and desired) jerseys, shoes, and balls to communities that would welcome and use them to inspire change for youth of both genders. The design should comprise of a structure and construction mechanism that can unfurl to provide a space to rent sports gear as well as a safe space for youth to play, but must be re-packaged securely to protect the goods and equipment when the play area is not used or space is not available, or when it moves from one location to another.
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.