Sydney-based design duo Préssec has developed a ping pong paddle made from recycled HDPE plastic that looks just like terrazzo. The project started during lockdown when the designers played ping pong on the kitchen table to pass the time. one day they realized the simple but fun sports bat would be a great product to explore manufacturing with recycled plastic.
The designers turned their lockdown pastime into a weekly design challenge, sketching out potential designs every weekend. Intrigued by terrazzo-like recycled plastic, they wanted to explore the material further to understand what it is like to work with.
‘We knew that the material on its own was going to make the product stand out, but we still wanted to apply our design aesthetic and come up with a unique design,’ says Préssec.
As well as utilizing the recycled plastic, the designers also took the opportunity to rethink the traditional ping pong paddle. They shaped a hollow handle to reduce weight and produced the paddle from a single piece instead of the conventional 3-layer construction. This structure allowed them to explore forms that feel better in the hand and resolve surface transitions that are traditionally compromised.
Préssec explored and tested many prototypes before they finalized the design and started cutting the recycled plastic with the unique pattern. ‘Testing is usually the best part of the design process, especially when it requires many ping pong sessions,’ say the designers.