Triple Double Studio, Intergalactic Athletes

Designing an intergalactic athlete

Sport is not currently happening on earth right now.

I know, we’re very sad about this too … so we’d like you to imagine what other sports are currently being played in space – keeping all of those aliens, robots and all sorts of creatures, perhaps even other humans, active.


The Brief

Now it’s the time to ‘think outside of your house’ … think about all the wonders of space: other life forms, gravity, asteroids, gases, perhaps even why Michael Jordan was supposedly investigated by NASA for his ability to fly, supposedly.

We are challenging you to create 1x outer-space athlete, in whatever medium you choose.


You will need

If you’re wanting to create a 2D athlete:

  • A4/A3 paper to draw/illustrate your athlete on.
  • Pencils, coloured pens, or even paint, as long as it sticks to the paper!

If you’re wanting to create a 3D athlete:

  • Get creative with the materials who might have lying around your house, egg boxes make great space suits, but we know you’re already thinking as big as the Milky Way!


Step-by-step guide

1. Start off by using one of the following starting points as inspiration (because it’s a big old galaxy out there!)

  • What’s your favourite sport on earth? Or if you don’t like sport (eurgh Triple Double, sport isn’t for me!), which is one you like the least?
  • Do you have a favourite player? What would Cristiano Ronaldo look like if he came from 20,000 light years away? Imagine if Serena Williams had an extra set of arms to play tennis, sheesh.
  • Or think about one the planets in our immediate solar system: Venus, Jupiter and even tiny little Pluto, what would athletes there need to be able to do to play (breathe in icy air, somehow walk with zero gravity, you name it)


2. ‘Crazy 8s’ idea generation time, regardless of whether you want to work in 2D or 3D.

  • Take a sheet of paper, fold it in the middle of its longest edge. Then fold it in half from the shortest edge, then again. You should have 8 sections when you open it back up.
  • You have 8 minutes in total (the astronauts above will be counting), 1 minute per box, only using a pen or pencil, no colour: Come up with quick ideas for your athlete. Don’t worry about the quality of your sketching, this is about coming up with lots of ideas, fast.
  • From the first sheet, pick the two athlete ideas you like the best. Repeat one sheet for each. You should have 24x filled in paper section in around 20 minutes.


3. Develop a single athlete idea. Take your favourite athlete idea from Crazy 8s, and start developing it.


Things to think about

If you picked starting point ‘favourite/least favourite sport’

  • What would this sport look like in outer space, there is no gravity for example. How would the athletes be built to cope with that? Feel free to invent a brand new space sport.
  • Think about the equipment used, does this mean your athlete has bigger or small hands. Maybe they don’t even have hands to play!
  • Does your athlete play a certain type of role in their space team, think how an ice hockey goalie looks compared to the rest of their team.

If you picked starting point ‘favourite player’

  • What makes your favourite player unique and how does that translate out in space? In the case of Ronaldo, his skillful footwork might mean that in space he has 8 legs (that’s an octopus Triple Double?!) … hey, you’re the designer here!
  • Does your player have a mechanical add on because they’re from space now? That can be an internal processing system as much as a body part. 
  • What does their signature style look like because they’re unique, compared to their teammates (‘Google Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United haircut’ if you don’t believe us!)

If you picked  starting point ‘solar system planet’

  • Think about the conditions of the planet you chose. Is your athlete red/orange coloured to stay camouflaged on Mars’ surface for example?
  • Think about your athlete’s limbs and how they need to move around the surface of the planet. Maybe their limbs aren’t even limbs, but wings…
  • If your chosen planet has extreme weather conditions: hurricane-like gusts or volcanos everywhere you look, what does your athlete have to wear to stay protected? Not sure shin pads or cricket gloves will cut it out there.


Top tips!

  • Keep your core athlete idea simple
    • Focus on one thing that makes them unique. Build up lots of little ideas from there, rather than having an athlete that can do everything. Netball players have different skills compared to surfers as do rugby players, for example.
  • Be brave with your athlete ideas
    • This brief is, on purpose, meant to be fun – really get your imagination going with the possibilities.
  • Show your friends and family your ideas to get feedback
    • Pick up the phone, speak on camera, call over the fence to your next door neighbour, get feedback from others to help you develop the best possible idea.

Please send us a photo of your athletes! Triple Double Studio would very much like to see how you’ve responded to the challenge!

Triple Double are a London-based design studio working across the worlds of young people, sport and education.

They collaborate with their clients, working together as one team with everyone bringing their individual flair for a shared purpose. Whether starting from scratch or restoring pride, everything is built upon the studio’s organised and thorough design process. And education underpins all that they do, helping people to understand what design is and where it can take them next.

Clients include: Action Against Hunger, Arts and Culture University of Exeter, Basketball England, Chatroulette, the Design Museum, Institute of Imagination, Project Backboard, Red Bull, SetPlay, Unilever, University of the Arts London (and of course National Saturday Club!)


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