Game on

It’s great to see the team at Troika planning an evening of ping-pong at London’s Barbican Art Centre next week. What better way to combine sport and culture?

Founders of the Troika Collective
Founders of the Troika Collective

What the trio might not fully realise though is the aptness of their choice of Ron Arad’s Restless show to stage their tournament. Arad has strong associations with table-tennis, not least through a joint-venture with Design Week some years ago.

While Arad was head of design products at the Royal College of Art, for a couple of years we offered his students a stand at London furniture and accessories show 100% Design. Things went to plan while Daniel Charny curated the student work, but in the final year of the deal, Arad interceded, introducing a ping-pong table to the stand – and very little else.

Troika's table tennis tournament - £8 pre-paid and £10 on the door
Troika’s table tennis tournament – £8 pre-paid and £10 on the door

So visitors to the show experienced the master at work, thrashing his students and anyone else who fancied a go at a game he plainly enjoys. The stand was painted black for the occasion and was totally devoid of branding.

An opportunity missed for the college and Design Week? Maybe. But it provided more fun than the average trade-show offering – such is the way with creative thinking. Let’s hope Troika’s Barbican contest turns out to be as memorable.

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