Level Playing Field: Harbour Cup by LAAB

Hong Kong-based collective LAAB reimagines the table soccer game with Harbour Cup, an interactive artwork that welcomes collaboration and competition

Words and Images LAAB
Editing The Kanto team

Kanto Submission Harbour Cup by LAAB interactive Artwork

Described as “an interactive artwork that integrates art, science, and sports into one,” Harbour Cup is similar to the table soccer game we know. The piece follows the typical, rectangular with curved corners form of a football stadium. It is dressed in a reflective metallic surface, allowing it to interact with the surroundings of Hong Kong’s harbour and live up to its name.

What makes Harbour Cup different from foosball is that there is no goal on either side. There is also no definition of teams, so players are encouraged to negotiate by deciding whether the game is competitive or collaborative. It makes the familiar unfamiliar, inviting people to reflect and communicate.

While four rods are available for use and eight is the ideal number of players, LAAB designed the artwork to be inclusive. It comes in a set of three pieces with various heights and dimensions to accommodate people of all ages and sizes. This aspect capitalizes on promoting community and physical and social interaction, with the studio calling on individuals to put down their phones and play.

Another highlight of Harbour Cup is its use of technology. Solar-powered LED lights are incorporated into the piece, with watertight 3D-printed consoles activating them. These consoles contain capacitive sensors as well, bringing a truly immersive experience. The lights also create impressive visual effects, especially at night.

Kanto Submission Harbour Cup by LAAB interactive Artwork

Harbour Cup is a manifestation of the studio’s belief that art and architecture can be a process of bringing people closer to nature, community, and culture. By straying away from traditional boundaries, the project is able to showcase the importance of face-to-face interaction in the digital age; the value of inclusivity in today’s society; and the activation of public spaces through thoughtful design. •

Project Information

Completion Date

Project Team
Otto Ng
Chun Hang Yip
CK Wong
Brian Cheung
Catherine Cheng
Larissa Ku
Raphael Kwok
Erika Fung

Hong Kong Science Museum

Photography/Video Production
DCinematic, Leung Yau Cheong, LAAB

About LAAB

LAAB is a laboratory for art and architecture dedicated to crafts and innovations. Co-led by Otto Ng and Yip Chun Hang, the collective of artists, architects, designers, engineers, makers, and sociologists collaborate laterally to bring visionary ideas to life. 

The work of LAAB includes art installations, interior, architecture, and public space. Notable projects include the Flying Window at the Hong Kong International Airport, Harbour Kiosk at the Avenue of Stars, and Hong Kong House at Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, Japan. 

LAAB has been recognized for design innovations and craftsmanship by various international design communities, including Japan Good Design Award Best 100, Architizer A+ Awards, and Design Anthology Awards. In 2021, LAAB was named “The Best Design Studio” by INDE Awards.

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