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Alvar Aalto-Inspired Hockey Puck Will Infuriate Hockey Players

We’ve had a boring round hockey puck for too long. Too long I say!

Why should sports projectiles all be round? Baseballs, basketballs, even footballs: slice them like a loaf of bread–all round. This is fascism! Down with round! At least that’s what I imagine the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery said (though, for the record, I have absolutely no evidence that the NSI&D has ever said anything like this).

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The Nordic Society created the Aalto Puck, a free-form blob of a puck, to free the humble puck from its round prison. The project was inspired by and named after Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, perhaps most famous for his chairs and lighting. (You might be familiar with his Paimio chair, which sits in the MoMA.) The puck is specifically inspired by the shape of this Aalto vase.


The puck is designed to maximize randomness and, probably, frustration. Whereas a typical round hockey puck is predictable in its movements, the Aalto puck will surprise. Knock a regular puck against the boards at a 45-degree angle and it’ll bounce back just the way you expect, at a 45-degree angle. Knock an Aalto puck against the wall at a 45-degree angle, and it’ll maybe bounce back at 45 degrees, or it may come straight at you, or it may float against the wall, or it may stop in its tracks, or it may go backwards. “By adding an element of chance it’s the most equal puck produced,” says the project’s official site. Sure! Equally infuriating for both teams.

It isn’t really designed to be used professionally, though the NSI&D is actually making them and will send you one if you contact the society on its site, provided you send pictures or video of the puck in action. But it’s mostly an art project–nobody’s trying to get the NHL to adopt this thing.

We do love the diagram of the way a puck’s shape has changed over the 500 years since the game was invented, though. It’s about time for a weird irregular change, right?

[via Fox Sports]

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.

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