WORDS Cheri Morris
Creative agency Accept & Proceed has designed a new basketball court in Serbia for Nike using 20 000 sneakers that were destined for the landfill.
Inspired by Nike’s Move to Zero ethos, Accept & Proceed was tasked with revitalising the weathered municipal space around three core values: community, design, and responsibility towards the planet. The result is a slick inner-city oasis of play complete with basketball court, children’s playground, bleacher benches, chain link fence, outdoor gym, and collection bins for dead sneakers.
Located in New Belgrade, Block 70 was chosen precisely for the neighbourhood’s longstanding history with basketball. In homage of this legend, Principal Designer Nigel Cottier and team sought to evolve the visual language they developed for Nike’s Move to Zero identity by integrating bespoke Serbian lettering into the court markings – an honourary nod to New Belgrade’s local community.
By desconstructing the essential ingredients of a basketball court and then reinventing the traditional layout, the team birthed a playful design with elements that boast duality: a Serbain letter is a free-throw line is a half-court line. Here, players’ movement are informed, the community sees itself, and the energy of Block 70 is amplified.
As part of Nike’s sustainability initiative, which aims to repurpose manufacturing scrap and and end-of-life shoes headed for landfills, the local community donated up to 20 000 pairs of old sneakers that were then repurposed within the design.
Love this design? Check out Yinka Illori’s colourful basketball court here.