London 2012. In 2012 London was a hive of activity around the arrival of the Olympics. There were many cultural projects and brand initiatives being started throughout the capital, all looking to make the most of the new audiences and buzz in London over the sporting summer. At the same time, Nike were launching a new trainer, the Flyknit - a groundbreaking innovation in footwear design which has since changed the way sports footwear is produced. In addition to demonstrating this innovation, Nike also wanted to launch the Flyknit in a unique way that brought London’s sporting and creative communities together.
We launched a new product and celebrated sport in East London by transforming an underused green space into a hub of activity
Flyknit Collective. Through conversations with local communities and research with Nike, we found that a large barrier for collaboration between sports and culture in East London, and specifically Shoreditch (where NikeLab is situated) was the lack of accessible free facilities. With this in mind, we located an underused local park, Aske Gardens and set about transforming it into a thriving hub of culture and sport, called Flyknit Collective.
Local Thinking and Doing. Working with local architects, We Made That, we produced four week-long workshops, that engaged the local community in the re-imaging and re-design of Aske Gardens. Inspired by a different quality of the Flyknit shoe, each workshop was aimed at ensuring the park became a sustainable sports and cultural space for years to come.
A Fitting Launch Event. To launch the park, we commissioned art and design practice United Visual Artists to create a temporary community experience – an interactive installation of three sound and light responsive trampolines called Floating Point. The installation became the centre piece of a ten-day event programme that featured film screenings, performances, football and basketball tournaments.
Aske Garden's legacy. For us the project was a big success, not only because it launched Flyknit in an unexpected way, but also because of Aske Gardens itself. The park is still used today and was awarded top park in Hackney 2014 and Green Flag status for excellence. Something we're very proud of.
One of the social highlights of the Olympic summer
Jessica Brinton, Sunday Times Style