Not Your Mother’s Hula HoopJune 5, 2013
By Diane Fittipaldi,
In the world of industrial design, also called product design, another set of young students invented something worth checking out. This time, their product caught Germany by storm, winning no fewer than nine design awards in the past six years. Since then, the product has spawned a new sport that has yet to take hold here at home.
The students, Michael and Stephan Landschutz (brothers) along with Susan Wilke, now run a design firm specializing in product design, architecture and public art. The firm, SALZIG Design, is responsible for the Sporthocker.
This remarkable product defies description. New to the world inventions rarely come along, they always defy description and in this case you have to see it to really understand it. My brain categorizes it as a cross between a skateboard (you can do flips, turns and tricks) and Hacky Sack (balancing and juggling). Oh, and when you finish a trick or a move, you top it off by sitting on the Sporthocker, which is actually a stool and doubles as a piece of furniture.
How fun would it be if urban street performers and extreme sports athletes here in the U.S. took hold of this thing and did something with it? I’m convinced it suffers form a lack of exposure and just needs a jumpstart. With the right communications plan or even a modest media relations effort, it might take off and catch fire. I can picture a feature segment on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Or, maybe a throwdown with The Flying Tomato, Shaun White.
Watch the video from the SALZIG Sporthocker Team’s 2013 10-city tour through Europe, sponsored in part by Red Bull – – see what you think.