Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Puckelball Pitch by Johan Strom, Malmö, Sweden, 2009

playscapes: Puckelball Pitch (the world's first!) Johan Strom, Malmö, Sweden, 2009:

Also called 'Mogul ball' for its resemblance to the moguls on ski runs, the puckelball pitch (made of artificial turf) is a protected design concept by Johan Strom, who thinks of it as a metaphor for life:

'Many live under the belief that life is a fair playing field, that both pitch halves are just as big and the goal always has at least one cross. But ultimately the ball never bounces exactly where you want it to and the pitch is both bumpy and uneven.'
I love Fenway Park, so it can't be said I'm against the irregular and asymmetric in sport. However, I don't think I'd like this puckelball very much. You know what highlights the fact that the playing field is uneven in sports? Everything. The actual, physical playing field being level, that's what shows us all the other areas of sport (and life) that are uneven. I see this pitch as more of an art installation than a playscape, which makes it a bit of a waste. I suppose there is some value in it as art, subverting the expectation of the level playing field and drawing our attention back to the other questions of fairness, but I can't believe trying to play a game on that field would be anything but frustrating five minutes after the novelty wore off. And the bigger, strong, faster kids will still have an advantage.

End Grumpy Old Traditionalist Man rant.
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