It was impossible to walk by the booth for the PhD Pocket Disc at ASTRA without stopping. First of all, the colorful display was arresting. And there were discs flying all over the place. So we stopped and we played a quick game of catch. We were sold immediately. The PhD is a crocheted disc that flies surprisingly well. The design is based on a 10-year-old’s craft project gone awry. What was supposed to be a flat, circular placemat ended up curling under at the edges. The failed attempt sat undisturbed on the family’s coffee table until a friend’s dad picked it up and tossed it. The two families went into business together, and the PhD was born. The discs are now produced in Guatemala by a cooperative of women who are paid a fair wage and work in good conditions.
As much as I love the story, the product is also a winner. The disc is easy to throw, easy to catch, flies straight, and won’t hurt anyone (or anything) if there’s a collision. It can even be used indoors (assuming there are no fragile and expensive antiques around). Their website offers several suggestions of games to play with the PhD, as well as a tongue-in-cheek list of alternative uses.