Upcycled Sneakers for Block 70 projectProjects
Designed by London-based creative agency Accept & Proceed, Nike celebrates the opening of a newly renovated parks and recreation area using 20,000 recycled sneakers in true ‘Move to Zero’ ethos in New Belgrade, Serbia.
This September, Nike unveiled a revamped basketball court and playground designed by Accept & Proceed (A&P). The B Corp-certified creative studio was selected for the park design, having previously collaborated with Nike’s Global brand team to generate a cohesive and expressive system for ‘Move to Zero’—Nike’s move towards a zero carbon and zero waste future, to protect the future of sport. A&P’s scope of work includes the court design, children’s playground, bleacher benches, chain link fence, outdoor gym, collection bins, in-store campaign presence and restoration of existing elements. The renewal, celebrated together with the city of Belgrade and distribution partner Sport Time Balkans, aims to re-energise the local neighborhood and provide a space for play and for sport among kids and adults alike.
Located in New Belgrade, Block 70 was chosen for the neighborhood’s deep history with basketball and source of local pride, having raised many legends of the sport who attended the opening ceremony. A&P’s design of the basketball court acknowledges the strong sense of community with ‘BLOK 70’ printed in original typeface onto the surface of the courtyard.
With Nike Belgrade, we evolved the visual language we had developed for Nike’s Move to Zero identity by incorporating bespoke Serbian lettering in the court markings to celebrate New Belgrade’s local community. We had an interesting exercise that challenged our thinking of spaces for sport: what if we break down the essential ingredients of a basketball court and reimagine the traditional court layout? How can we create a fun and unexpected space, whilst retaining legibility and playability? It was fascinating to come up with the different elements of lettering that can inform another function, like a free-throw or half court line, and even more exciting to think that the design will not only inform the players’ movements, but influence the community spirit and energy of Block 70
- Nigel Cottier, Principal Designer, Accept & Proceed.
Within the playground area, the existing fitness equipment and park furniture provided by the Municipality are fully restored and given the same bold colour palette as the court to enliven and unite Block 70 as a whole. The graphic elements on the surface of the ground are marked with bright hazard stripes to delineate the various play and gym activities; the cautionary vernacular is a style borrowed from Move to Zero as a reference to the urgency of climate change. When used to organise functions in the park, a network of communal zones are formed for kids and adults of all ages to engage with sport and one another.
It’s no understatement that helping the world’s best sports brand with its sustainability initiative makes me feel immensely proud of the work we’re doing at Accept & Proceed. Our visual identity for Nike’s Move to Zero brand came to life within our court and playground design in New Belgrade and I feel incredibly inspired to know that design, community and responsibility towards our planet were all integral elements in this project. Moreover, to witness and be part of the meaningful connections between Nike and local communities shows a new way forward, especially for the role of designers—a sowing of the seeds for an active future and better tomorrow
- Matthew Jones, Creative Director, Accept & Proceed.
Block 70 was partially created from up to 20,000 old sneakers donated by the local community. By repurposing shoes headed for landfills, Nike’s sustainability initiative helps transform manufacturing scrap and end-of-life shoes into recycled materials. A&P developed the graphic elements and messaging for the six-month campaign used to promote this initiative on Instagram, on the streets and in-stores throughout Central Belgrade.
Collection bins in local stores are framed by plinths exhibiting the various stages of upcycling that the sneakers must go through to become surface material for the park. Visitors and shoppers can see how the lifecycle of worn-out athletic shoes are given a second chance to perform, then experience their own recycling actions within Block 70.
Nike Belgrade is one of several sports court design projects A&P has worked on. In June 2020, the studio designed Hackney Marshes Football Pitches for Where We Stand, which reshaped football and basketball courts to allow for social distancing whilst maintaining the energy, spirit and integrity of the game.
- Press Kit: Accept & Proceed
- Photography: Rastko Šurdić