Accept & Proceed’s Nike basketball court is made of 20,000 upcycled sneakers

Located in New Belgrade’s Block 70, Nike’s new neon-hued basketball court and playground designed by London-based Accept & Proceed merges sustainability and visual design.

by Anmol AhujaPublished on : Nov 23, 2021

Historically known for and culturally enriched by a deep history with the sport, Belgrade’s Block 70 is now home to a new basketball court and playground by Nike, under its umbrella sustainable initiative, ‘Move to Zero’. Designed by the London-based multidisciplinary design practice, specialising in brand and visual design, the court is bold in its shades, bolder in its spatial sensibility, and game-changing in its composition. Sporting bold neon tints, contrasted by pitch blacks, and complemented by greys, the court itself is made out of nearly 20,000 upcycled sneakers, donated by the local community, and features a repurposed, exciting new layout for the basketball that derives from the brand identity design Accept & Proceed did for Nike’s ‘Move to Zero’.

  • The intervention comprises a basketball court and a playground amid residential settlements in the block | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    The intervention comprises a basketball court and a playground amid residential settlements in the block Image: Rastko Šurdić
  • Belgrade’s Block 70 is historically known for and culturally enriched by a deep history with the sport of basketball | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    Belgrade’s Block 70 is historically known for and culturally enriched by a deep history with the sport of basketball Image: Rastko Šurdić

Along with employing sustainable design principles, the intervention is also seen as an urban level exercise in community building and rejuvenating public spaces through thoughtful design. The design of the court and playground builds on the already strong sense of community and togetherness prevalent in the Serbian neighbourhood, responsible for birthing and raising a number of legends of the sport, who also attended the opening ceremony of the court. A&P acknowledges that strong communal spirit fused with a sense of locality, through “BLOK70” printed in its original type design onto the surface of the courtyard.

  • The court’s surface is made of nearly 20,000 upcycled sneakers donated by the members of the community | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    The court’s surface is made of nearly 20,000 upcycled sneakers donated by the members of the community Image: Rastko Šurdić
  • The graphic elements on the surface of the ground are marked with bright hazard stripes to delineate play and gym activities in the playground | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    The graphic elements on the surface of the ground are marked with bright hazard stripes to delineate play and gym activities in the playground Image: Rastko Šurdić
  • The court utilises a bold neon palette drawn from the studio’s previous collaboration with NIke on the brand’s ‘Move to Zero’ campaign | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    The court utilises a bold neon palette drawn from the studio’s previous collaboration with NIke on the brand’s ‘Move to Zero’ campaign Image: Rastko Šurdić

With the intervention, Nike, A&B, along with the community aim to “re-energise the local neighbourhood and provide a space for play and for sport among kids and adults alike”. Picking up from their previous collaboration to generate a cohesive and expressive system for Nike’s ‘Move to Zero’, an initiative towards a zero carbon and zero waste future, and to “protect the future of sport”, A&P worked expansively on the court design, the children’s playground, bleacher benches, chain link fence, outdoor gym, collection bins, in-store campaign presence, and restoration of existing elements as part of the collaborative intervention.

  • Nike’s ‘Move to Zero’ is the brand’s initiative towards a zero carbon and zero waste future, and to “protect the future of sport” | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    Nike’s ‘Move to Zero’ is the brand’s initiative towards a zero carbon and zero waste future, and to “protect the future of sport” Image: Rastko Šurdić
  • Collection bins in local stores are framed by plinths exhibiting the various stages of upcycling that the sneakers go through | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    Collection bins in local stores are framed by plinths exhibiting the various stages of upcycling that the sneakers go through Image: Rastko Šurdić
  • The display also showcases the lifecycle of worn-out athletic shoes apart from lending additional engagement and information to shoppers | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
    The display also showcases the lifecycle of worn-out athletic shoes apart from lending additional engagement and information to shoppers Image: Rastko Šurdić

"With Nike Belgrade, we evolved the visual language we had developed for Nike’s Move to Zero identity by incorporating bespoke Serbian lettering in the court markings to celebrate New Belgrade’s local community,” stated Nigel Cottier, Principal Designer at A&P, on the very interesting design challenge posed to his team, who felt that their thinking of spaces for sport was challenged through this exercise. The team of designers at A&P then proceeded to work through breaking down the essential ingredients of a basketball court, reimagining its traditional layout to attempt to create a “fun and unexpected space, whilst retaining legibility and playability”. The lettering and formation of the Serbian font used to incorporate ‘BLOK70’ in the layout of the court itself thus defines and informs other functions in the court, including the three-pointer, free throw, and half-court line. According to Cottier, the design “will not only inform the players’ movements, but influence the community spirit and energy of Block 70”.

01 mins watch Video showcasing A&P’s design approach and cultural references drawn from the historic background of the Block 70 neighbourhood | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
Video showcasing A&P’s design approach and cultural references drawn from the historic background of the Block 70 neighbourhood Video: Courtesy of Accept & Proceed

The second area in Block 70 encompassing A&P’s more transformational approach is the playground area. Embodying the same bold neon colour palette as the court to “enliven and unite” block 70, the playground utilised existing fitness equipment and park furniture provided by the municipality, fully restored by A&P. Furthermore, the graphic design elements on the surface of the ground are marked with bright hazard stripes to delineate play and gym activities, while the overall borrowed style from ‘Move to Zero’ hopes to evoke the urgency of the climate change and the global climate crisis.

01 mins watch Animation showcasing the formation of court markings from the bespoke Serbian lettering developed by A&P | Nike Block 70 | Accept & Proceed | STIRworld
Animation showcasing the formation of court markings from the bespoke Serbian lettering developed by A&P Video: Courtesy of Accept & Proceed

To represent the holistic nature of Block 70’s facelift, collection bins in local stores are framed by plinths exhibiting the various stages of upcycling that the sneakers donated by patrons must go through, before being compressed to form the ‘base’ of the park. While lending an additional layer of engagement and information to visitors and shoppers, the display also showcases the lifecycle of worn-out athletic shoes, now being given a second chance to perform and gain new life through Block 70.

Comments

Comments Added Successfully!

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
2781,2550,2606,2631,2704

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE