Posted on 16 Feb By Visionarism
Imagine going into a store just to smash the decor without being ejected by security.
Now imagine that this store is one of the most exclusive sportswear destinations in London.
Currently housed in the experience room of NikeLab 1948 in Shoreditch is the “One Shot” installation which opened to the public last week. Created by the Loop.pH Studio, the area sports multiple free-standing shelving units, each adorned with dozens of detailed moulds of basketballs crafted from terracotta – all taunting customers to do what they were created for.
In the centre of the room stands the main feature of the installation – a free-standing basketball hoop under which sits a length of rubberized flooring. Behind this playing on the screens is a video loop of a terracotta basketball continuously smashing onto the ground before reversing back into one spherical unit.
Continue to scan the room and your curiosity will begin to peak when finally see, tucked in the corner next to the entrance, a work station where you will most likely see one of the NikeLab staff meticulously piecing back together the remnants of what once was a terracotta basketball.
Inspired by the Japanese philosophy of ‘Wabi-Sabi’, the experience focuses on the popular expression of Kintsugi which translates to “golden joinery”. This technique transforms broken ceramics into beautiful works of art whereby cracks and breaks are mended and reattached using a mixture of gold and either lacquer or epoxy. The mended imperfections are subsequently highlighted in a beautiful manner – a metaphor that there is beauty to be found in the imperfect and incomplete.
In this instance, One Shot is taken by the consumer with a terracotta basketball. Score or miss, the delicate ball will shatter as it impacts with the ground. The shards of what was once a basketball are carefully collected and laid out over the work station after which one of the NikeLab staff will carefully guide you through the process of rebuilding the sphere. However, rather than using gold like the widely perceived Kintsugi method, the epoxy resin is dyed black to contrast and replicate the black lines of a basketball.
The process of reconstructing the broken ball takes approximately two hours, a task which requires patience yet reaps fulfilling, almost meditative rewards. It is through the commitment of the mending process that the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, “the acceptance and beauty found in transience, imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness” become more apparent.
After the mending process, each ball is then placed back on display for the public to see. Some are very close to their original state; some are nowhere close at all. However, the viewer’s perspective will highlight the splendour in each.
This season at NikeLab, there is no specific campaign collection, rather a collection of basketball inspired footwear by innovative collaborators including but not limited to Errolson Hugh’s Acronym (Air Force 1 Downtown Hi) and Comme Des Garcons (Transparent Dunk Hi). The recreated basketball is a metaphor for the various individual pieces coming together to create one whole collection.
NikeLab 1948 is currently taking bookings for the One Shot experience via telephone and in store subject to availability. The experience is free of charge and once the installation has finished, consumers will be contacted to come and collect their finished/unfinished ball. Scroll down to get a glimpse of what to expect from it…
Edited by Emil Poniente (@millzgp), for @Visionarism.
All images by @Visionarism.