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Works That Work, No.9,

Editorial

by Peter Biľak (296 words)

This issue of Works That Work is about sports and games.

I have friends who enjoy reading newspapers in their entirety except for the sports section, deeming it too common and undignified to merit the attention of those who seek ‘higher pursuits’. I was intrigued by the challenge of writing seriously about sports, going beyond the ephemera of competitions and results to explore an activity that brings people together, often even in spite of apparently insurmountable differences. Sport crosses social, geographic and economic boundaries. It promotes social inclusion, giving people new opportunities and hope.

The late Nelson Mandela remarked that ‘[s]port has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.’

In the issue we look at sports and games from various perspectives: how football can facilitate reconciliation between enemies, how the design of gender-specific sportswear allows female athletes to fulfil their potential, how coaches use elements of design to conceive sport strategies, and how athletes use their equipment to gain a competitive edge. We also look at the darker creativity involved in cheating and manipulating the system, as well as at more playful topics such as how political activists use games to educate people about corruption, or how astronauts play in space.

As usual, we hope that you learn things that you didn’t know you didn’t know, something about how seemingly trivial hobby activities can help us not only to relax, but also to overcome challenging social issues.

Peter Biľak is the founding editor of Works That Work magazine. He also runs Typotheque type foundry and co-founded Dot Dot Dot magazine. Peter also teaches at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.

This article comes from Works That Work magazine, No.9.
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