Annti Ahtiluoto

Found objects become an urban ping pong station in Helsinki.

The city is full of ping pong opportunities, if you've got the right equipment.

In some cities that might mean having a concrete ping pong table in a park, like this table in New York City's Tompkins Square Park. Or it might mean traveling through the impressively ping pong-friendly bar scene in Berlin. But for one group of urban paddlers in Helsinki, there's no need for such formalized ping ponging. They've taken to the streets with little more than a ball and a couple paddles and managed to construct playable (if not Olympic) ping pong tables mostly from materials in dumpsters and city trash cans.

Through the creative use of rope, found materials and scavenged wood, a makeshift ping pong table can be built and used within moments. This video from Janne Melajoki shows how to integrate a little table tennis into nearly any urban environment.

Melajoki explains the concept, which was a final project at the Lahti Institute of Design:

In my graduation project I have pondered urban intervention and the role of the designer in activating the city. My end product is a concept of a ping pong table, that enables the occupation of urban space in a whole new way.

The project shows how urban space can be used and tweaked to create the sorts of experiences people want but might not be willing to wait for an official arm to provide.

Image credit: Annti Ahtiluoto

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A man rides an electric scooter in Los Angeles.

    Why Do City Dwellers Love to Hate Scooters?

    Electric scooters draw a lot of hate, but if supported well by cities, they have the potential to provide a widespread and beneficial mode of transportation.

  2. black children walking by a falling-down building

    White Americans’ Hold on Wealth Is Old, Deep, and Nearly Unshakeable

    White families quickly recuperated financial losses after the Civil War, and then created a Jim Crow credit system to bring more white families into money.

  3. a map comparing the sizes of several cities

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  4. People standing in line with empty water jugs.

    Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ Water Crisis, One Year Later

    In spring 2018, news of the water crisis in South Africa ricocheted around the world—then the story disappeared. So what happened?

  5. Perspective

    America’s Transportation History is Full of Mistakes. Let’s Not Make Another One.

    Instead of battling it out, cities and private mobility companies have an opportunity to work together and lay the foundation for a multimodal future.