Nendo’s My Football kit includes a modular football

For his recent “My football kit” project, Japanese design firm Nendo has crafted a modular soccer ball made up of 54 interlocking pieces that aims to be more durable and portable than its inflatable cousins.

The project was developed for Japanese sports equipment company Molten with a mission to reduce barriers to access in communities where maintaining traditional soccer balls poses logistical or financial challenges. nendo took inspiration from woven Japanese bamboo balls to create the structure, joining together three types of soft recycled polypropylene and elastomeric synthetic resin to replicate the feel of a typical ball while providing greater resilience.

The balloon is “inflated” by the internal air pressure created by the interlocking pieces, which maintains their structure even if a piece of the balloon is damaged during use. Players can then replace these parts individually, which increases the economic efficiency of the equipment and extends its long-term life. Parts are shipped disassembled and can be easily stored in this more compact state when traveling or when the ball is not in use.

nendo has created several compatible color schemes for ball components, so players can mix and match to create unique gear. The design firm said there will also be a way to produce team or company specific colorways and other brands.

Learn more about the process behind ‘My Football Kit’ vi nendo’s blog.

Find out more about nendo and other Japanese design leaders in this introduction to the seven architects you should know.