Photos by Nicholas Karlin, Words by Josh Waldman
Assembled in just over a month by the women of Made in the District, Future of Sports is most definitely a labor of love. The founder of MITD, Nicole Pinedo, has been involved with team sports in some way for nearly her entire life – her father, a soccer player, participated in the 1994 World Cup. Pinedo followed her father’s example and played soccer throughout her young life before embracing her more artistic passions. She later took on a position working with Hannah Lux Davis, the acclaimed director behind music videos for Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, and countless other pop superstars.
In fact, Pedino’s pop music background and bright design sensibilities are front and center at Future of Sports. The muted pinks and subway tiled accent wall of the tennis themed room bring to mind Charli XCX’s “Boys” music video. Likewise the vibrant neon accents in the football and cycling themed rooms bring to mind Ariana Grande’s zeitgeist defining “Side to Side”.
From the moment you step into Future of Sports’ hyper-saturated visual universe, it’s clear that this is no ordinary art installation. From a holographic vinyl basketball court that could appear on a vaporwave blog to an indoor soccer field bursting with pops of reds, blues, and greens, Future of Sports is a modern look at art and sports in harmony.
Beyond Future of Sports’ aesthetic sensibilities, the installation is also nearly entirely interactive. Visitors begin in an autograph room, where anyone is free to sign their name on the wall. From there, you’ll pass through the tennis room to enter a boxing room, where you’re free to take out your frustrations on one of four punching bags. Enter the volleyball room and play a match on a court made of glistening white salt, or step into the football room and play with one of MITD’s homemade football arcade games. Then feel free to grab one of the two recumbent bikes in the cycling room, show off your soccer skills in the vibrantly painted soccer room, or shoot some hoops on that glistening vinyl basketball court.
If taking it easy is more your style, MITD will also be staffing a cash bar on the upper floor of the exhibit every day from 5 p.m.-10 p.m., where you can also take in the bright blue track painted on the upstairs floor. Whether you’re a die hard sports fan or just someone looking to amble through some truly unique, visually arresting spaces, Future of Sports is a must see.
Future of Sports is located at 700 H Street NE and will be open from 10am-10pm every day through November 30th. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.