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Nendo Launches DIY Non-Inflatable Soccer Ball for Kids in Impoverished Areas

01.15.21 | By
Nendo Launches DIY Non-Inflatable Soccer Ball for Kids in Impoverished Areas
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Japanese design studio nendo just launched the My Football Kit project that aims to popularize soccer (or football depending on where you live) in hopes of bringing more players to the sport. Throughout impoverished communities around the world, soccer balls are not easy to come by, and if they are acquired, the children do not have access to air pumps or any way to fix the damage that happens over time. In order to give children a chance to play and enjoy the beloved sport, nendo designed a non-inflatable soccer ball that mimics the feel of kicking a regular ball, with a design that’s based on the structure of the traditional Japanese woven bamboo ball. Nendo partnered with global ball manufacturer Molten to create My Football Kit, a set of 54 pieces that assembly together like a puzzle to form a soccer ball.

There are three types of components made of soft, recycled polypropylene and elastomeric synthetic resin that create a durable surface that’s also safe to kick with bare feet. If one of the pieces falls off during a game, the rest of the interlocking form will stay together letting the game go on. If a component breaks, they can be easily replaced instead of having to get a new ball. The replacement parts ship disassembled in smaller packages which helps reduce shipping costs. Plus, there are multiple colors of the components available so a new color scheme can be worked out which makes it easier to remember who the ball belongs to.

The kit includes illustrated instructions anyone can follow as there’s no text that has to be translated. In addition to the instructions and 54 pieces, the kit comes with a bag that can be worn as a backpack to carry the ball around in.

The ball’s design allows room for adding original logos or brand-specific colorways which gives businesses and organizations opportunities to contribute to schools and club teams.

For more information on My Football Kit, visit myfootballkit.jp.

Photos by Akihiro Yoshida.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.