Sharing the
Love with
Local Refugees

What do you do when the office foosball table – everyone’s favorite pastime – starts to decline, giving way to small elements of rust along the handlebars, plus a couple faulty players that tend to lose their legs at every kick? Two things: give the table an in-house facelift and then donate it to a place where it’s guaranteed to make people as happy as it’s made you. That’s what happened when we turned over our favorite foosball table to a local church housing dozens of refugees.

The Foosball Table That Brings Everyone Together

Over the last few months, Germany has welcomed thousands of refugees who have uprooted themselves from Syria and other war-torn countries in search of a better life. In many of the makeshift shelters that house these refugees, people of different nationalities share large communal areas where they’re physically close, but have few options to pass the time or to come together as a community in a positive way.

Our Esslingen studio saw an opportunity to fill a need for this community with something that’s been meaningful in bringing our team together. As an analog game in our digital world, our foosball table has always served as a gathering place where our designers, engineers, and strategists could get to know each other outside of those roles. For this group that faces a language barrier, we hoped it could provide the same kind of gathering space for them to begin to do the same.

Small Repairs to the Foosball Table - and a group delivery

Before delivering the table, we repaired the problem areas and engraved the sides with welcoming greetings. Our workshop team executed the designs and Managing Partner Hans-Peter Aglassinger arranged for an in-person delivery.

TEAMS repairs foosball table for refugees

Together as a group, we got the chance to bring the table to a community church and spend some time getting to know the refugees as they came together for some rowdy games. We got to listen to their stories, share some coffee and cake, and see that our sweet little table had definitely found a great home.

“Seeing them playing together – despite nationality and language differences – had a great impact on me,” said Vince Hasenmayer, the lead on the project. “I think we saw the TEAMS culture in action among local refugees: work together, have fun, and always seek to understand where the other person is coming from.” Vincent Hasenmayer, manager strategic design

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