While attending an arts conference in Doha, Qatar, a group of us reinvented the game of ping pong. We turned the table upside down to expose the pocketed underbelly, added a spinning mirrored net, and created several tiers of surfaces with plexiglass. A six player game is much better for a busy conference!
Prior to designing the new ping pong table, we worked on individual projects inspired by the table tennis game.
My version incorporated what was around me. The game used the building blocks that were already available to us to change the directionality of traditional table tennis. Hitting the ball up and down with the panel above was fun, but it wasn’t just a solid piece of plywood. If you hit one of the holes drilled through the wood, the ball would either hit a balloon and make a booming sound, or go through the hole and disappear into a birhtday hat.
Challenging and surprising!
The Qatari architecture, art, and environment was completely foreign to my typical Western experience. While visiting the Richard Serra East-West/West-East scuplture, I found the stacked stones, creating space and shadows for tiny creatures, to be the most interesting part of my trip. Everything was at an extreme scale. Tiny flowers, small rocks, and a giant sculpture against a giant sky.