Inflatable soccer balls are hard to maintain in impoverished communities because of the unavailability of air pumps or the deterioration and damage of the tube inside the ball. In response, Japanese design firm Nendo has designed a non-inflatable soccer ball that gives the same kicking sensation as a standard ball.
Inspired by the structure of the traditional Japanese woven bamboo ball, the My Football Kit is assembled with three types of components and includes a total of 54 parts. The instructions for assembly are designed like a picture book in easily understood illustrations. Instead of relying on internal air pressure, the ball uses the resilience of its surface material, soft, recycled polypropylene and elastomeric synthetic resin components, to bounce.
The material won’t hurt bare feet and is unlikely to develop a sharp fractured surface that might cause injury, even if broken. If a component comes off during play, the interlocking structure ensures the ball will not disassemble. Components may be shipped in disassembled states in compact packages, potentially cutting shipping costs.
The ball comes in multiple colors, allowing children to create their own personal color schemes. Nendo also designed a packaging sack to be used to carry around the ball like a backpack.
There is potential for businesses and organizations to print original logos or develop brand-specific color schemes, which might encourage contributions to educational institutions and club teams.
All images courtesy of Nendo.