Dezeen Magazine

Streetball hoop and speaker

Eric Treillard designs mobile kit for turning unused plots into playgrounds

An empty site can be transformed into a basketball court using this mobile kit designed by Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Eric Treillard.

Treillard's project, The City Is A Playground, was designed to offer young people easy access to the social and health benefits of sport.

The City Is A Playground portable streetball kit by Eric Treillard
Treillard's kit can turn any space into a streetball court

Those who don't feel comfortable playing on a formal basketball court could instead use this kit to appropriate an underutilised space in their local neighbourhood.

"The idea was to create a transportable basketball playground that you can install in different locations to make the public space more playful," the designer told Dezeen.

The City Is A Playground portable streetball kit by Eric Treillard
A wheeled trolley makes it easy to move the kit around

"Designed to be itinerant and placed in unused locations, it provides court access to people who would not usually feel comfortable going to formal versions of these spaces," he said.

Treillard developed the design based on his own experience growing up in a Paris suburb where streetball was an important part of youth culture.

The designer recalls his father installing a hoop in front of his house, which proved pivotal in making him feel comfortable playing with others.

"As a teenager, I grew up with this culture," he explained. "It really impacted me personally and socially."

His ambition is to now make streetball accessible to a new generation of young people, particularly those who are daunted by the idea of playing on an established court.

"When you go to the main playgrounds in Paris, it can be very stressful and overwhelming," Treillard said.

The City Is A Playground portable streetball kit by Eric Treillard
The kit includes a ball, hoop, speaker, water container and battery-powered lamps

The kit doesn't just include the ball, hoop and net needed to play. It also includes objects that support streetball culture: a speaker system, battery-powered lamps and a water container.

Treillard took visual cues from the modernist architecture that dominates suburban Paris.

The objects are highly utilitarian in design, made from metal and set into sturdy yellow frames that allow them to be easily attached to a wheeled trolley.

Streetball hoop and speaker
The hoop can be clamped over any wall or parapet

The hoop comes with adjustable screw fixings so it can be clamped in place over the top of any wall or parapet and just as easily removed.

"I wanted [the kit] to be very smooth and compact, easy to move around on a train or bus, and in colours that complement the concrete aspects of the city," Treillard stated.

At a time when many are worried about how increased smartphone use is impacting young people's ability to learn social skills, the project offers one possible solution.

Basketball and hoop
It is temporarily fixed in place with adjustable screws

Treillard suggests that these kits could be placed in neighbourhood community centres to make them easily accessible to local groups.

During a test install, he found that it immediately captured the attention of a group of children.

"It was important to see that excitement," he added, "because this has to be used for it to really work".

The City Is A Playground portable streetball kit by Eric Treillard
The kit can be easily packed away and moved to another place

The City Is A Playground is Treillard's graduation project from Design Academy Eindhoven, where he studied in the Contextual Design Masters programme.

It was on show as part of the school's exhibition during Dutch Design Week, alongside other projects that included a portable treehouse and a digital dress "made of social media noise".