Defying Boundaries

Ström: All children between 3 and 73. I have taken the most popular of popular sports and through simple changes in the playing conditions, created a new idea of a game, or a new type of soccer or ball game, where one does not have to be the best to win because the elements of serendipity and luck are constantly present in play. The project has also been well-received by practitioners of extreme sports. Active soccer players who have seen the field have suggested the possibility of using it as a training field to practice unpredictability.

LAB: What awards has the project received?

Ström: The Siena Prize is Sweden’s most prestigious award for landscape architecture. The Making Space Award is an international design award for innovative design and architecture for children and young people. The prize is awarded by the Children’s Organization in Scotland. And the idea is catching on–a second field will be built in Stockholm this year.

LAB: Do you use a “football” or what we refer to in the United States as a soccer ball?

Ström: Take any type of ball and make up teams; for example, there may be three or five or seven on each side, mixed (gender) teams or not. Make your own rules, maybe extras for certain types of goals, or play with football or soccer rules. Play with a stick. Play from a wheelchair.

One thing is for sure: you will need guts, humor and an open mind, and you will have a whole new ball field–a Puckelball field.

Johan Ferner Ström is an artist with Urban Art Solutions in Stockholm, Sweden. He can be reached via e-mail at

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