Getting to the source

So…after working on the mind map and annotated bibliography I found I have a lot more to consider. My biggest struggle right now is finding reliable, up-to-date sources. My thesis topic focuses on how the past and nostalgia can be used to influence the future of sports design. I came to the realization that I will need to reach out to those in the sports design and creative fields to get a better look into this aspect of design and where it is going. I started making a list of designers and agencies that specialize in this area that I could reach out to for direction and information. Earlier this week I received my copy of NC State College of Design magazine. The theme for this quarter is “innovation”. As I skimmed through the pages I came across an article about an alum named Justin Larosa who is currently working at Nike designing uniforms. He discussed his process when designing the uniforms for the annual Army vs. Navy game. Larosa used the Army’s WWII victory at the Battle of the Bulge as inspiration for the graphics in the uniform.

Army’s striking black and gold uniforms pay tribute to a year when the Black Knights were unstoppable on all fields of battle: 1944, the year the Army troops won a key strategic victory in WWII’s Battle of the Bulge. The football team at home was on its way to a perfect season and the first of three consecutive national championships. In tribute to Army’s historic victory on the battlefield, a historical re-interpreted West Point battle atlas map of the region where the offensive took place can be seen throughout multiple elements of the uniform, from the jersey to base layer to gloves, all the way down to the inside the cleats.

Up until now, I had only thought about sports based references of nostalgia and the past design styles but Larosa’s work pushed me to consider how  past historical events can serves as inspiration. It could be a visual reference like the maps in the uniforms as well as a reminder of a great achievement and example of endurance – two important aspects of athletic performance. He said Nike strives to be authentic when designing uniforms and that school or team’s history serves as one of the best sources for inspiration.  One of the things I found inspiring in his story was the reaction from the WWII veterans at the game who saw the uniforms and what it meant to them.  I start to think about how the events in recent history will shape and influence future design. We live in a time where things become old so fast and not just technology. Our memories and experiences as well. It seems they are shape more by phases in our lives instead of by time itself.