A few months ago I wrote a blog piece about the terms space and place, and how I had found myself contemplating them, in that of creating my own space for art and work. Since then I have continued to work and create in many different spaces and places, discovering how certain elements of both can assist in the creative process. I was recently brought back to space and place after reading a post about a basketball court in Paris that had been outfitted in divided sections of block colours back in 2015 and then redone with colourful gradients in 2017.
Initially done up by French fashion brand Pigalle and Nike in 2009, then redone in 2015 by Ill-Studio and Pigalle and now again in 2017 by the same duo. Each time the court was transformed from more than an average basketball court to a place that combined sport, art and culture.
"Through this new court, we wish to explore the relationship between sport, art and culture and its emergence as a powerful socio-cultural indicator of a period in time," said the team.
As you can see from the photos the newly renovated space has combined vibrant colours into gradients, with bright yellows, pinks and blues. Slight order is created with the use of white lines to outline a basic court, yet the punch of colour in the surrounding walls and ground make for an invigorating and exciting space that encourages activity and creativity.
I personally prefer this latest colour scheme of the basketball court, the combination of gradients into blocks of colour allows for more of a smooth meeting between basketball and design in my opinion. In the previous layout, the hard blocks of red, white, yellow and blue almost lost the actual court in my eyes. This latest scheme however still combines bright, exciting colours with blocks and shapes, yet somewhat limiting it to the walls and thus letting the layout of the court be more easily distinguishable.
Reminiscent of the colour palette of a setting sun, the inspiration for the hues came from Ill-Studio 'to correspond to the collection’s ’90s basketball-inspired aesthetic, where an almost iridescent air sweeps thorough the highly-saturated space.' I think this is a wonderful way to make a statement piece for a community area, by brining added life and colour to a well-loved and used basketball court, this makeover has enabled for a collaboration between artists and the local community. It has attracted publicity to both the local court and to the launch of the latest clothing collection of Pigalle's, created in collaboration with NIKElab. It is a good combination of designing for community collaboration and engagement as well as the promotion of Pigalle's line.
I would like to see more of this design for public spaces and community engagement in the future, as I think it is a great way to collaborate between artists and locals to create publicity and activity within local spaces and places; with the added benefit of it having continuing positive effects for both parties.