The 2014 World Cup “Brazuca” soccer ball has been touted as being the most advanced ever made after the company spent two years designing it with fewer panels of a single shape across the ball’s surface. Such “single-panel” design makes the ball smoother, rounder, and more consistent. But Pratt Institute Architecture Professor and designer Haresh Lalvani says the preferred “one-panel” design means future choices for ball designs are limited.
In 2007, Lalvani disclosed one-panel soccer ball designs in a patent which included a very similar design to the 2014 World Cup soccer ball. He says that through mathematics and geometry it is possible to see where innovation in ball design may be heading.