Inside Football: Designing the Beautiful Game at the Design Museum

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Written by Jacopo Prisco, CNNLondon

The first FIFA World Cup final between Uruguay and Argentina in 1930 began with disagreements. Who will supply the ball?

Both teams wanted because they were used to playing with their equipment and didn’t trust each other. In the end, we reached a compromise. The first half was played with an Argentine ball and the second half was played with a Uruguayan ball.

The contrast was clear. Argentina led 2-1 in half-time, but after switching balls, Uruguay won 4-2, winning their first trophy at the premiere of international football.

One of the two matchballs used in the 1930 World Cup final, supplied by Argentina and used in the first half. credit: Neville Evans Collection

“One (of the ball) had 12 panels and the other 11 panels, with slightly different weights and textures due to differences in panels and stitches,” “Football: DesigningtheBeautifulGame.” Eleanor Watson, chief curator of the program, said. A new exhibition at the London Design Museum. “Therefore, from a technical performance standpoint, it really affected the outcome of the game.”

The show welcomes visitors with exactly the two balls used in its legendary finals. They beautifully embody stereotypical vintage football, whose rough surface and heavy stitching are far from the sleek, light design used in modern games. And they show how the design shaped the world’s most popular sport, two out of about 500 objects that span equipment, uniforms, badges, photos, banners, posters, and even stadium fragments. It’s just one.

Image from "Post" A series by sculptor Neville Gabie.  Taken in 2006 in Mussel Bell Abbes, Tunisia. Gaby traveled around the world, shooting handmade goal posts, simple sculptures that could give new meaning to objects and spaces with just three lines.

An image of the “Posts” series by sculptor Neville Gaby, taken in 2006 at Massel Bell Abbes, Tunisia. Gaby traveled around the world to shoot handmade goal posts, simple sculptures that could give new meaning to objects and spaces. 3 lines. credit: Neville Gaby

According to Watson, exploring and holding exhibitions is not an easy relationship. “To be honest, when I first pitched, the marketing director at the time said it was a really bad idea and people associate design and football with this highly unwanted commercial entity. Current state of. ”

The exhibition aims to clarify and set records for the role that designers and architects have played since the advent of professional soccer players in the 1880s. The range ranges from banners and jerseys to less-expected ones such as stadium architecture, graphic design, collectibles and new developments such as eSports.

2019 soccer player Brooke Hendrix and Anna Moorhouse photographer.

2019 soccer player Brooke Hendrix and Anna Moorhouse photographer. credit: Briana Navi Sari / Goal Click

Boots, including boots specially designed for women, are well represented in the lineup of objects, including pairs worn by the two most respected players in the game, George Best and Lionel Messi. Elsewhere, the early Adidas and Puma boots are part of a complex family feud, as well as competition between the two German sportswear brands founded by the brothers Adidas and Rudy Dassler, respectively. But another important design moment in the history of sports: the development of screw-down cleats.

“In 1954 West Germany played against Hungary in the FIFA World Cup final. Hungary was the tournament darling and the best team of the time. They won and, famously, it rained heavily. It started to get off, “Watson said.

In half-time, West Germany’s official shoe supplier Adolf Dassler loosened the cleats on the player’s boots and replaced them with longer ones that provided better grip on a sticky pitch. West Germany continued to win the finals. The unexpected victory was called the “Bern’s Miracle”, a reference to the Swiss city that hosted the match. “At that moment, everyone remembered that these performance devices played a very important role in giving the team a competitive advantage,” Watson said.

A replica of the Hillsborough Memorial Banner created in 2009 by Peter Carney and Christine Waygood. The original was created the week after the Hillsborough tragedy, a deadly human frustration that killed 97 people and injured hundreds in a football game in Sheffield, England in 1989.

A replica of the Hillsborough Memorial Banner created in 2009 by Peter Carney and Christine Waygood. The original was created the week after the Hillsborough tragedy, a deadly human frustration that killed 97 people and injured hundreds in a football game in Sheffield, England in 1989. credit: Peter Kearney

A more subtle contribution to the game-but what has proven to be equally important to the identity of the player and fan-is the contribution of graphic design. The impact is especially evident in the evolution of team badges and logos. “As with many aspects of football design, these started with basic practical considerations. In the early days of football, people couldn’t afford a football kit, so it’s very much to create it. An easy way to do this was to instruct everyone to wear a badge. Just sew a piece on a regular piece of clothing and you’ll have a uniform, “Watson said.

The exhibition features several iconic jerseys. Perhaps the most famous was worn by the legendary Brazilian Pele when he made his World Cup debut in 1958 at the age of 17. They signed) Belonging to legendary magic wearers such as Diego Maladona, Roberto Baggio, Zico and Michelle Akers, who led the US women’s soccer team to two World Cup championships and the Olympic gold medal in the 1990s. I am.

Michelle Akers, who participated in the legendary number 10 exhibition, won two World Cup and Olympic gold medals.

Michelle Akers, who participated in the legendary number 10 exhibition, won two World Cup and Olympic gold medals. credit: FIFA Museum

Two of the largest objects in the collection are from the stadium. A slice of the iconic façade of the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, its appearance is the world’s largest membrane shell, and the early turn tiles were the football era-monetization that turned fans from supporters to customers.

And like a soccer match, the show has breaks. In a half-time space reminiscent of a stadium stand, visitors can sit at Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracanã stadium and enjoy a video installation of the crowd.

The unofficial emblem of the German team St. Pauli, a district of Hamburg, is made of skull and crossbones and has been adopted by the club's traditional left-wing fan base.

The unofficial emblem of the German team St. Pauli, a district of Hamburg, is made of skull and crossbones and has been adopted by the club’s traditional left-wing fan base.
credit: Witters / Tim Groothius

The final section presents the work of football charity, such as Goalclick, which sends disposable cameras to sports communities around the world, including the Gilgit-Baltistan Girls Football League, the first women’s league in northern Pakistan. Ask them to document their experience. “It’s a way to shed light on the different types of people who use football as a way to express themselves,” Watson said.

“”Soccer: Beautiful game design“Is in the Design Museum in London from April 8th to August 29th, 2022.

Image above: Originally a pair of Puma Super Atoms from 1952, it was one of the first football boots with removable cleats.

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