A non-inflatable soccer ball designed for children from impoverished communities.

Designed by Japanese design studio Nendo for sports equipment and automotive parts manufacturer Molten, My Football Kit reinvents the soccer ball as a non-inflatable object. The project aims to provide children from impoverished communities with a simplified soccer ball that doesn’t require access to an air pump and is also easy to repair if needed. Inspired by traditional Japanese woven balls made from bamboo, the design features three types of components and a total of 54 parts that interlock easily. The resulting soccer ball doesn’t rely on internal air pressure, but on the resilience of the carefully chosen materials.

The design studio used elastomeric synthetic resin and recycled polypropylene for the project; apart from their softer surface that won’t cause injuries even to bare feet, the components are also durable and modular. If one part breaks, the user can easily replace only the damaged component, prolonging the life of the ball. The parts also come in different colors, allowing children to customize their soccer ball. My Football Kit comes disassembled to reduce shipping costs and features a specially designed instruction manual. Created as a picture book without text, the universal instructions are easy to understand by children from around the world.

The included packaging sack that comes with the soccer ball can double as a knapsack. Finally, the easily customizable kit also opens up the possibility of collaborations between brands and educational institutions or non-profit organizations. The aim? To provide easier access to soccer balls and thus encourage more children to play. Photographs© Akihiro Yoshida.