About Ping Out

PingOut is all about combining aesthetics with social activities in the public space. Like so many other good things, this project was born by sheer coincidence, and now Anders Find and Troels Øder Hansen’s baby blue tennis tables dot the Copenhagen map.

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Photojournalist Anders Find picked up the table tennis habit at the tender age of eight. Growing older, his interests gravitated toward beer and photography, which soon overtook his childhood passion. Then, in 2009, during a visit to Berlin someone told him about a group of old punks living in a park under one of the city’s many tennis tables.

“This I had to document with my camera,” he says. “The interesting thing about it was that these guys had an amazing influence on the surrounding area. Homelessness can have a negative effect on the city space, but in this case the punks acted as instructors whenever a grandfather came to teach his grandkids a backspin serve. It was in Berlin that I rediscovered table tennis. The city is plastered with tables, and I felt we needed the same thing here in Denmark.”

His next step was to find someone to design the tables. He teamed up with furniture designer Troels Øder Hansen, himself a passionate table tennis player with a creative background in the graffiti culture.

“I have always been attracted to doing street-related projects, and this was an opportunity to mix furniture design and outdoor activities,” Troels explains. “Only three months passed from the day we had our first meeting till we had the first table ready. The concept is plug-and-play: A table made in one piece, which does not require maintenance. At the same time we wanted it to have a large surface suitable for decoration by local artists.”

PingOut is more than a ping pong table. It is a deliberate statement concerning the use of public space. The tables are open 24 hours a day and are free to use. In this sense table tennis is a supremely democratic activity, say PingOut’s founders.

“The main reason behind PingOut is to give people something to gather around and share. What I saw in Berlin was that table tennis has a unifying group effect. Everyone can join in and play,” Anders says.