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. The Presidio Terrace neighborhood

    The Problem of Progressive Cities and the Property Tax

    The news that a posh San Francisco street was sold for delinquent taxes exposes the deeper issue with America’s local revenue system.

  2. Times Square, 1970.

    The New York That Belonged to the City

    Hyper-gentrification turned renegade Manhattan into plasticine playground. Can the city find its soul again?

  3. Life

    Where Robots Are Doing Factory Jobs

    Almost half are clustered in the Midwest and South.

  4. Equity

    The Complex Relationship Between Innovation and Economic Segregation

    It’s not just the tech industry that’s responsible for America’s stratifying cities.

  5. POV

    Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

    The catastrophic fire that killed at least 80 in London was the inevitable byproduct of an ideology that vilified the poor.