In the tennis world, Prince has an enviable reputation for innovation, most famously the oversized racket head of the 1970s. For its next move within the tough constraints set by the tennis authorities, the company didn’t change racket head or material. The most significant material change was from wood to graphite in the 1970s, and though composites are continually tweaked, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere else it can go for the moment. Geometry, on the other hand, still has potential. Prince’s designers focused their attention on the frame, in particular the holes through which the strings are looped. The company’s latest model, the 03, does away with the usual needle-sized apertures, in favour of massive holes big enough to put your finger in. These are dubbed O-Ports, and allow, says Prince, total string freedom. And such a set-up promises that Holy Grail of tennis, a bigger sweet spot – 54 per cent bigger than normal rackets. What’s more, the O-Ports make the racket more aerodynamic, as they act as wind tunnels. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. After only a few hits with an 03, there really was a genuine improvement in my shots, with some of them flying across the net at an unexpected pace. Some still went into the net or way out, but that was due to the unfamiliar surroundings rather than any ‘faults’ in the racket.
Organised by file sharing service Loop.gl, London Loop will see work by designers and other creatives displayed in public spaces all over the city.
Bad News is a new research project from the University of Cambridge and Dutch media company Drog, which aims to help the public spot misinformation on their social media feeds
Discussed at this year’s Design Indaba, Netherlands-based design graduate Tomo Kihara has created a product that aims to spark conversation between homeless people and passers-by.
Curated by Sea Design, the exhibition focuses on the geometric identity created by consultancy Roundel, which was used on British Rail’s freight trains in the 1980s and 1990s.