11 - the beautiful game

A football table designed by GRO design and developed by TIM model makers.

'11' is a collaboration of 2 companies - GRO design and Tim modelmakers – each contributing their specialist skills to this showcase project.
With their shared values of creativity, quality and experience, the two companies have worked together for over fifteen years on projects ranging from consumer electronics and domestic appliances to lighting and furniture.

Table football is great fun to play – it’s social, active and physical, and it offers a welcome alternative to the solitary activity of computer gaming. As an object, however, it has become less desirable as its often cost-driven appearance no longer fits in with the designed landscape of modern interiors – be it a café, bar or airport lounge.
When thinking about a project for the Milan Design Fair, GRO looked for an object that they believed they could enhance through design, and that had lacked serious design attention in recent years.
After considering a number of starting points, they felt that the football table would have the right elements involved to show their commitment to the highest level of quality in design and model making. Discussing “11” together, they knew it would be a challenge to take on. 

"Many new football stadiums built in recent years have a strong architectural and sculptural beauty, becoming city landmarks in their own right and enhancing the visual landscape of the local environment.
We wanted the design of our football table to be equally spectacular and memorable, enriching the interior space where it will be placed.

We were interested in creating atmosphere through form, colour, material and subtle use of light, bringing a heightened sense of drama and excitement to the game. The table’s flowing lines express the dynamic aspect of football, while reducing unnecessary detail to allow the raw energy of the game to come to the fore.
The illuminated interior, contrasting with the dark exterior, draws the players and bystanders into the action. Adding light truly makes the spectacle come alive, as all the attention is directed toward the figures and the ball.
As well as ensuring visual impact and consistency of design, the bright-silver chrome finish of the figures mirrors footballers’ status in sport and society. 
In order to make a model of this scale, planning and model making strategy were critical. From the outset, careful consideration was given to picking the right model making techniques to achieve the best possible visual results, while maintaining playing quality, stability and ease of assembly
The lines of players proved challenging. Machined from solid brass, the weight of each rod required the right bearing mechanism to allow the rods to rotate smoothly. Finished in bright-silver chrome required hours of polishing to achieve a perfect mirror finish, before finally ink filling the graphic details.
The model of the football table incorporates a number of lighting effects. This required not only finding the best lighting solution, but also writing software to enhance the experience of playing the game – showing the winning goal or restarting the game.

Machining and polishing 22 players to a bright-silver chrome finish, incorporating working electronics and applying unique ink-filling techniques were just a few of the many challenges that required expertise and intense teamwork."
Exhibited during the Milan Design Week 2008, 16th - 21st April, Via Forcella 8, Milan, Italy.

tags: toys, sport, new products
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