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Low tech
AI prototyping
Imaginary footwear

Exploring the aesthetic of sustainable product design

This first Material Exploration taps into the essence of simplicity with a nod to tradition. Inspired by the Japanese waraji — the straw shoes historically worn by farmers — my focus is on crafting rudimentary, low-tech footwear from organic materials. These makeshift shoes are the product of looking back to move forward, blending the wisdom of past practices with my vision for sustainable and pragmatic design. This approach embraces the bare essentials, providing a straightforward, environmentally conscious solution for footwear, echoing the time-honored ingenuity found in the waraji of old.

This second Material Exploration goes into low-tech solutions, drawing inspiration from the resilience required in challenging environments. I focus on creating circular skates crafted from monomaterials designed to adeptly navigate the complexities of muddy floods and harsh winter snows. These innovative skates are born from a philosophy of simplicity and sustainability, where every component is chosen for its ability to be reused, recycled, or reduced.

By harnessing the potential of singular-material use, these skates present a seamless, integrated design that minimizes waste and maximizes functionality. This approach adheres to the principles of circular design and offers a durable and practical solution for traversing rugged terrains. Embracing the robustness required to withstand the elements, these circular skates are a testament to the enduring power of minimalist, thoughtful design—a nod to sustainable innovation’s past and future.

This last Material Exploration is more about fun. I’m diving into an innovative project focused on integrating air bubbles and high-performance, bio-sourced knitted fabric to create a shoe that’s as fun as it is functional. Inspired by air dynamics from Nike and natural fiber properties, my design emphasizes comfort and environmental sustainability.

The air bubbles are ingeniously incorporated into the soles, providing buoyant, cloud-like support that enhances the wearer’s experience with every step, mimicking the sensation of walking on air. This feature offers a unique aesthetic appeal and serves a practical purpose by reducing impact and enhancing cushioning, ideal for dynamic, sport activities.

Complementing this, the shoe’s upper part is crafted from a high-performance knitted fabric derived from bio-sourced materials. This fabric is eco-friendly and excels in durability and breathability, adapting to the foot’s natural shape for a snug, seamless fit.