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walk! Design, editor Michael Frederiksen

Photo Jens Christian Hansen Michael Frederiksen and the student groups

ISBN 978-87-90775-10-0

© 2010 Designskolen Kolding Ågade 10 6000 Kolding +45 76301100 dk@designskolenkolding.dk www.designskolenkolding.dk

Institute for Product Design Institute Leader - Mathilde Aggebo Lecturers – Marianne Britt Jørgensen, Hans Christian Madsen, Joy Boutrup and Michael Frederiksen

walk!

walk! workshop, ECCO supported the

This book was printed with support from ECCO. In the students with materials and knowledge throughout the project.

walk!

is a project run under the auspices of Designskolen Kolding’s Laboratory for Design and Sustainability. The school’s laboratories develop new teaching methods and forms of communication and create space to experiment, think in new ways and work with challenging new ideas. The laboratory is supported by The European Fund for Regional Development through Vækstforum/ Region Syddanmark.


walk of life

Michael Frederiksen Industrial designer Spin Doc Design & Engineering

Shoes for our feet

Designing them

Humans have not been given wings to fly with, fins to swim with or scales to crawl on. But during the great distribution of organic means of transport, we were given a pair of solid legs with a foot and five toes on each, and they have helped us navigate around the globe long before the ship, the car and the airplane were invented. The complex system of bones, muscles and ligaments, which constitutes our lower extremities have evolved from the primitive limbs of the first mobile land animals to a refined propelling and balancing apparatus, which, through the controlled fall of the human gait, allows us to move freely in any terrain – from the deserts, mud holes, forests and rocky landscapes of our forefathers to the streets, staircases and catwalks of modern civilization. As the technological development has made our legs redundant as the only possible means of transport, people have taken the next step up the pyramid of need and applied their legs for cultural display and bodily self-realization in the form of ballet, high jump, tango, skateboarding, ice skating, football, parkour, marathon, slalom, surfing, race walking, tightrope walking and thousands of other bodily cultural activities.

And this has been the objective of the interdisciplinary workshop, which is the topic of this book: To step into the role of the shoe designer and try to get a grip of this specialized area at the crossroads between fashion, textiles and industrial design – and emerge with a collection of display models of shoes of a high visual quality, which reveal bold conceptual innovation, technological daring, and a razor-sharp aesthetic sense. This is no easy task when there is only four weeks for the student to plunge head-first into an unfamiliar discipline and try to navigate the minefield of cultural connotations, ergonomic considerations, aesthetic intuition and hardcore product semantics, which constitute the world in which the designer operates.

At least in the Western World, people need shoes when they move around using their legs. Shoes fulfil a number of requirements: They protect the soles of the feet against sharp stones and drawing pins. They help us keep our balance in mud and on polished floors. They keep the toes warm in winter and give them fresh air in summer. They lift us up when we feel we are too small, and they give us longer legs if we think the ones we have are too short. The springy soles help us walk and run in an ergonomic and energyefficient manner. And last, but not least, they make us look gorgeous, at any rate if the shoe designer has done a good job.

Similar to other design-heavy consumer products, where the aesthetic experience of the object is inextricably linked to the related cultural codes and historic references – garments and cars are archetypal examples – shoe design is subject to the tacit knowledge about these codes and references, which weigh heavily, both in the aesthetic judgment which the designer makes during the continuous assessment of his own work, and in the consumer’s point-of-sale verdict of the designer’s efforts. The shoes in this book were designed by a group of third-year students from the departments of Textile, Fashion and Industrial Design within the Institute for Product Design at Kolding School of Design. These disciplines are all related to the field of shoe design; however, none of them are specifically geared towards shoe development. In addition to the support which the students received from ECCO and from the faculty, they have had to turn to two sets of tools which we designers have to use when faced with an unfamiliar assignment: The set of tools comprising the tacit and

explicit knowledge which we have assembled through our life experience and more or less thorough research which we have accumulated about the topic in question, in addition to the methodical design tools which we have acquired through our training and which have been sharpened through frequent use in project after project after project. This combined application of common sense, research, tacit knowledge, and a methodical work process enabled the students to tackle an unfamiliar area of expertise and in a very limited time develop the selection of beautiful and innovative shoes presented in this book. And this is exactly what we train our students in: The ability to fearlessly plunge head-first into an unknown design assignment and see it through to successful completion. Because this is what happens constantly in the business world. Development of ideas and design in interdisciplinary groups can be a bubbling symbiosis, a highly effective professional mating dance, where the synergy of the collective competencies of the group far surpasses the skills of the individual group members. On the other hand, group work can be a sinking ship, where what was supposed to be a blossoming creative process ends up in power struggles and to-ing and fro-ing resulting in a mediocre compromise – also called ‘design by committee’. There is no magic formula for making groups function, but the designer can utilize tools such as brainstorming and evaluation methods which promote a positive group process. Another key to a good result is a structured approach to exploiting the specific competencies of each member of the group. In the shoe workshop we experienced an exceptionally fruitful dialogue between the materials-focused approach of the textile designers, the experimenting models of the fashion designers, and the tight product development methods of the industrial designers.

Sustainability Sustainability was a key concept in the workshop, but rather than applying the traditional production and materials angle the group asked questions such as: How can we design shoes which make people walk more and drive less? Is there a technical solution which allows shoes to propel us forward faster and thus lessen the demand for other means of transporta-

tion? Or, yet another angle: Can we design a shoe which is utterly timeless and never wears out, which means that it never needs to be discarded? Or: How little material is needed to still have a well functioning shoe? Under the three headings ‘Walk’, ‘Less is More’ and ‘Machine’ we tested three main trends in shoe design which point towards a more sustainable future: ‘Walk’ focuses on ways to entice the consumers to get out of their cars and busses and into their shoes; ‘Less is More’ concentrates on an absolute minimal consumption of materials and on sustainability due to a long life; and ‘Machine’ regards the shoe as an energy-effective extension of the legs, our high-yielding and flexible nature-given walking machine.

Shoe and society The shoe is a fashion-driven consumer product like many others, at the mercy of the constantly shifting whims of an overfed market subject to the insatiable cravings of consumerism for use-and-discard objects to satisfy the unreflecting need to shop, which is a basic prerequisite for the existence of the affluent market-economic society we know today. The shoe is also fundamentally a cultural object, however, with its own rich portfolio of layers of cultural meaning: The shoe as a social identity marker. The shoe as a masculine and feminine self-staging prop. The modern Kraka’s provocative flirt with the half covered, half dressed foot. The shoe as erotic fetish with shining lacquer and high stilettos. The shoe as the dark object of desire for the shoe hungry shopaholic. The shoe as the cross-country armour of the urban warrior, which dresses him to make a stand against everyday life and whatever comes his way. The shoe as the jogger’s high-technological seven-league boot. The shoe as advertising pillar for the multi-nationals’ conquest of new markets. The shoe as pure ergonomics, which grabs the foot in a firm, but loving embrace. The shoe as our daily point of contact to the earth from which we come. The design projects in this book try to penetrate the various layers of meaning of the shoe. They also offer a series of suggestions, using aesthetic and technological effects, which try to convince us of the necessity of wandering towards a more sustainable future.


Hellene Jørgensen Mathilde Maalouf Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen

An everyday shoe for men and women combining comfort with a stylish and minimalist exterior.

nature


nature The combination of wood and leather provides the sole with flexibility, and the age of the shoe is visible as the sole becomes worn.

Hellene Jørgensen Mathilde Maalouf Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen


nature

The sole of the shoe is crafted in layers like the year rings of a tree.

Hellene Jørgensen Mathilde Maalouf Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen


nature

As the shoe is worn and acquires patina the year rings constitute a physical testimony to its frequent use.

Hellene Jørgensen Mathilde Maalouf Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen


pace

Christian Hansen Maria Rokkedahl Nørholm Lea Zaar Ă˜stergaard

A high ankle boot with an utterly comfortable interior and a luxurious,changeable exterior.


pace

The shoe has a straightforward design leaving space for different covers for different occasions...

Christian Hansen Maria Rokkedahl Nørholm Lea Zaar Ă˜stergaard


pace

Christian Hansen Maria Rokkedahl Nørholm Lea Zaar Ă˜stergaard

...fashion and function, individuality and diversity.


pace

Christian Hansen Maria Rokkedahl Nørholm Lea Zaar Ă˜stergaard

The shoe sends the signal that beauty and comfort are far from incompatible.


bare

Christina Kousgaard Hansen Carl Emil Jacobsen Anna Kirstine Borg

We walk. Our foot is covered and well protected.


bare What happens inside? A game. Man. Woman.


bare

Christina Kousgaard Hansen Carl Emil Jacobsen Anna Kirstine Borg

The transparent. A forgotten focus. A glimpse. The hidden world laid bare.


collaboration - working with design students Jakob Møller Hansen Head of department ECCO Design Center

Ejnar Truelsen Senior designer ECCO Design Center

New perspectives

Looking for new talent

External partners

Being on the cutting edge of development has always been one of ECCO’s highest priorities.

ECCO assigns a high priority to the collaboration with the Kolding School of Design, first and foremost because of the students’ outstanding professional and academic level, but also because of their enormous enthusiasm and ability to identify with the problems and challenges they face.

Right from its start, ECCO has had external partners on many different levels. The founder of the company Karl Toosbuy was trained as a modeler, but his main strength was undoubtedly the production aspect.

New initiatives, new impressions, new norms, new attitudes, genuine curiosity, a constant quest for new ways of doing things, and new approaches to the challenges facing the company is of vital importance to ECCO. ECCO also appreciates the importance of having ”new,” young, unspoiled people associated with the company with whom we can communicate frequently and who can reflect the trends of the times and bring new perspectives to the table.

ECCO thoroughly enjoys the meetings, and they always result in new and exciting approaches and points of view. We do not hide the fact that we are looking for new talent with exceptional and innovative ideas, so we consider our contact to institutions of higher education such as the Kolding School of Design an important part of our network.

Nonetheless, he realized the importance of constantly keeping the design aspect up to date. Even during recessions he never cut down on expenses for design, which other companies undoubtedly would have done. ECCO maintains close collaboration in a variety of fields – we consider collaboration on materials development of high importance – but design

collaboration is probably the most crucial of all. Currently we have arrangements with external designers from Italy, Germany, Austria and the US who collaborate with our in-house team of full-time designers. We look forward to some exciting experiences with the Kolding School of Design.


Kaja Lønnkvist Stumpf Tobias Tøstesen Louise Ravnløkke

The design of a shoe must be a reflection of the body as the ultimate walking machine.

eccoes


eccoes

Kaja Lønnkvist Stumpf Tobias Tøstesen Louise Ravnløkke

The intention has been to create a holistic design.


eccoes

The fine mechanics of the machinery is illustrated by the stocking, linking shoe and body.

Kaja Lønnkvist Stumpf Tobias Tøstesen Louise Ravnløkke


eccoes

The open spaces in the shoe and the foot complement each other in surface, line and material and are inspired by raw, industrial machinery and unspoiled nature.

Kaja Lønnkvist Stumpf Tobias Tøstesen Louise Ravnløkke


Camilla Skøtt Christiansen Anna Katharina Thomsen Jonas BirkebÌk Poulsen

muscle

We perceive the human body as the optimal machine linking muscles and skeleton with the purpose of giving the body the perfect balance and power.


muscle

Camilla Skøtt Christiansen Anna Katharina Thomsen Jonas BirkebÌk Poulsen

The form of the shoe supports the foot and alerts the user to the power of the muscles.


muscle

Our shoe represents the function of the muscles: To generate power and movement. Floating neurons inside the muscles have inspired our image of the movement of the foot. Light travelling across the shoe illustrates movement.

Camilla Skøtt Christiansen Anna Katharina Thomsen Jonas BirkebÌk Poulsen


Daniel Kowal Michael Knap Kristoffer Kongshaug

A modern interpretation of the classic boot for men.

fragment


fragment

Daniel Kowal Michael Knap Kristoffer Kongshaug

We have combined traditional design with a coarse architectural approach and attempted to create the kind of boot you’d want to keep for the rest of your life.


fragment

Daniel Kowal Michael Knap Kristoffer Kongshaug

The varied textures bring out the structure of layers, shades, and shiny surfaces.


Nina Guldager Carina Sveistrup Mikkelsen Niviaq Binzer

illusion


illusion

Nina Guldager Carina Sveistrup Mikkelsen Niviaq Binzer

Less is more - the illusion of a shoe.


illusion

Our shoe concepts are based on the idea of cutting out everything that is unnecessary.

Nina Guldager Carina Sveistrup Mikkelsen Niviaq Binzer


illusion

Nina Guldager Carina Sveistrup Mikkelsen Niviaq Binzer

The concepts are wearable comments on society’s use-andthrow-away mentality.


sustainability - we’ve only just started

Mathilde Aggebo Head of institute Institute for Product Design Kolding School of Design

Using all of our competencies For the Institute for Product Design, which comprises Industrial Design, Fashion and Textiles, the business collaboration with ECCO regarding sustainable shoes as a case study for a design project is a dream assignment, since all the professional competencies of the Institute are being utilized. Shoes are a complex design project which requires an industrial designer’s expertise: strong competencies in creating 3D objects. Shoes are also fashion. It is an article of clothing in the category of accessories, i.e. fashion objects which at the same time communicate and decode our time. And finally, shoes are a universe of different materials, surfaces and details, which create comfort for the foot and also express the function and aesthetics of that particular shoe. And this is the area where the textile designer’s competencies can express themselves fully.

The students were inspired by a variety of objects: From bread dough and cows’ teeth to the year rings of a tree, and the students’ different backgrounds contributed to a stimulating development process where art, comfort and design eventually formed a synthesis resulting in fourteen exciting designs.

Sustainable Shoes The business collaboration called for new sustainable shoes which reflect the values of ECCO. The philosophy of the founder of ECCO, Karl Toosbuy, was that all design must start with the foot, and the foot should shape the shoe, not the other way round.

should always be an integral part of a designer’s considerations when a design problem has to be solved. Materials knowledge is a common denominator for all three disciplines at the Institute for Product Design. Knowledge about textiles, plastic, wood and metal is required as well as understanding of how to construct, work with and create materials and products; the consequences of such actions must be considered as well. The student uses this knowledge as a basis for finding a solution to the set problem.

The role of the designer

But why sustainable shoes? Haven’t we talked enough about sustainability? No, in fact, we have only just started.

Designers must possess a variety of competencies; one of the most important ones is the ability to seduce the consumer into choosing their product over all others.

Sustainability is a complex concept with more than one definition. That is why it is necessary to keep presenting suggestions of ways to create products which do not have an impact on the environment. Sustainability

The philosophy of the Kolding School of Design is that a product designer shares the responsibility of transforming the pattern of consumption in our society to make us select the most sustainable solution, not because we,

the consumers, consciously choose a sustainable product, but because we cannot help buying that particular shoe because it is so smart, modern, comfortable, compelling – whatever makes us, the consumers, select that particular shoe.

And how do designers do that? Designers choose the best technical solutions, take the comfort and function of the shoe into account, and are very particular about choice of materials and production options, and through this approach the designer expresses some of the values of contemporary society, since designers have their finger on the pulse and possess a highly developed aesthetic sense. They choose the best solutions on all parameters and hence assure a sustainable production; this is how their knowledge is applied in society today. In this case their talented choices have created seductive shoes which are also true to Karl Toosbuy’s philosophy that all design must start with the foot, and the foot must shape the shoe, not the other way round.


Mette Löwén Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling Maja Lindstrøm Hansen Rosa Tolnov Clausen

The shoe consists of several parts which can be combined or exchanged as needed.

modular


modular

Mette Löwén Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling Maja Lindstrøm Hansen Rosa Tolnov Clausen

Every part can be recycled, discarded or broken down separately.


modular Apart from environmental considerations it provides the user the opportunity to express his or her individuality in the composition of the various parts of the shoe.

Mette Löwén Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling Maja Lindstrøm Hansen Rosa Tolnov Clausen


modular

Mette Löwén Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling Maja Lindstrøm Hansen Rosa Tolnov Clausen

The shoe is the solid base for a young woman in a society in constant flux, where the zeitgeist simultaneously cries individuality and global responsibility.


Randi Samsonsen Emilie Strømmen Olsen Sarah Mi Svendsen

A shoe for the Nordic woman.

ingrid


ingrid

Randi Samsonsen Emilie Strømmen Olsen Sarah Mi Svendsen

A fusion of femininity and the utmost comfort.


ingrid

Randi Samsonsen Emilie Strømmen Olsen Sarah Mi Svendsen

. Urban elegance, made of recycled rubber and Nordic materials that step right up into the urban landscape.


splash

Bruno Kleist Katja B. Knudsen Allan Sejer Madsen


splash

Bruno Kleist Katja B. Knudsen Allan Sejer Madsen

An intense mixture of colours and joy...


splash

Bruno Kleist Katja B. Knudsen Allan Sejer Madsen

...exploding under your foot while you rush through modern life.


splash In a split second it captures a fast-forward society confined in its dynamic form.

Bruno Kleist Katja B. Knudsen Allan Sejer Madsen


from moo to shoe

Anne Woidemann Linea Lund Hjorhรถy Anne Danielsen


from moo to shoe

Anne Woidemann Linea Lund Hjorhรถy Anne Danielsen

This concept comes to life in the shoe by telling the story of the cow every time the user takes a step.


from moo to shoe

Anne Woidemann Linea Lund Hjorhรถy Anne Danielsen

The sole, inspired by the dental imprint of a cow, draws attention to the origin of the hide.


from moo to shoe

Anne Woidemann Linea Lund Hjorhรถy Anne Danielsen

The shoe focuses on sustainability in a different, non-traditional manner.


these feet

Mette Strømgaard Dalby Head of Development Kolding School of Design

were made for walking Challenges

The foot

Laboratory for Sustainability

The shoe presents an interesting design challenge. In terms of construction, the designer has to take the weight the shoe has to carry into account, which may be a substantial amount once the individual takes a step and places his foot including the shoe on the ground. The shoe is a feat (!) of engineering, although a modest one requiring the designer to assess how light the construction can be while still being able to support its owner.

Nevertheless, sculptural shoes often attract the most attention. These shoes do not weigh parameters such as ‘function’ or ‘comfort’, rather they invoke a signal value. Human beings also communicate non-verbally through signals, and down through history this has meant that shoes and those who design them have not necessarily taken the shape of the foot into consideration.

But shoes are also three-dimensional objects, which in and of themselves can possess sculptural qualities, and, unlike clothes, they do not need a body in order to present themselves. Shoes can be placed on a pedestal and have their own inherent value as small works of art which can be admired from different angles.

Just think of the absurd expression ‘foot-shaped’, often used to describe unattractive shoes that do indeed take the ergonomics of the foot into consideration, and you will realize that the foot is subject to the whims of the shoe and its designer – not the other way round. As long as humans have been part of civilizations they have transformed and forced the body – including the feet – to bow to the changing fashion of the times. Historically, the battle has been fought between high and flat heels, in addition to countless variations to the shape of the shoe. Similar to clothes fashion, shoes have been a dominant cultural factor, reflecting society’s power relations. One example is the flat ballerina shoe, which in France was associated with the new democratic ideals adopted after the French Revolution. Thus the high heals worn by members of the aristocracy came to signal the depraved and dying power elite, which represented France prior to the birth of the Republic. A similar notion is evident in the 1970s, where the oil crisis and the nascent environmental consciousness make several Danish shoe manufacturers (JacoForm, ECCO and Kalsøfocus on ‘the healthy shoe’, using the foot as its starting point, and employing quality materials as a revolt against the use-and-discard culture of the 1960s.

So where are we today in terms of shoes, fashion and society? Climate change has resulted in an increased awareness of the consequences of our consumption of the resources of our planet, and sustainability has become a concept which many people take into account in their daily lives. The Kolding School of Design has taught sustainability for more than 10 years, not as a specific subject, but as an integral part of the philosophy and way of thinking which is part of the designer’s DNA when he or she leaves the school. In 2009, the Kolding School of Design established a Laboratory for Sustainability, which is meant to bridge the divide between research and instruction AND be the base for interesting collaboration projects with external partners.

Nature has designed our feet so that they can transport us around, as the heading – a paraphrase of Nancy Sinatra’s immortal song – implies. But, apart from shoes specially designed for running and hiking, shoes are very rarely designed as a means of transportation. That would actually make a whole lot of sense considering the challenges we are facing these days in the western world: obesity, diabetes, and heart and vascular diseases caused by an unhealthy diet, too little exercise AND the transportation sector’s large CO2 emissions, which force us to find innovative solutions to the concept of transportation.

The Laboratory develops novel methods of teaching and communication and is meant as a ’playground’ for innovative ideas, which can later be implemented. In the Laboratory we are also part of the Fashion Zone, an experience zone initiated to secure a platform for the fashion cooperations in Denmark and strengthen the growth potential for Danish fashion internationally. Kolding School of Design has chosen shoes as one of the primary fashion themes, since our geographic placement gives us a close relation to a lot of Danish shoe manufacturers. The collaboration with businesses within the design field provides the students with valuable experience in meeting the demands of ‘the real world’. The shoe project, completed in the autumn of 2009, and described in this publication, is an example of such business collaboration. In close dialogue

with ECCO, which offered its multi-year experience as a shoe manufacturer on the global market, the school designed a curriculum for the disciplines textile, fashion and industrial design with a focus on shoe design.

Questioning conventional wisdom The results were diverse, exciting and surprising, often questioning some of our conventional wisdom regarding use of materials, e.g. that wood is inherently a “good” and natural material, whereas plastic is synthetic and “bad.” The students also showed that the sexy, high-healed shoes, which invoke a high degree of signal value, can be made of sustainable, recyclable materials. Our traditional notion of either-or no longer applies to the modern consumer, who wants smart and trendy products which are also made sustainably. Incorporating sustainability also means adopting a life-cycle approach for products, which follows them from cradle to grave – or from ‘cradle to cradle’, as McDonouagh and Braungart express it in their landmark book of the same name. When sustainability and life-cycle analysis become embedded in the thought process and the design of each product, materials choice, ways of production and distribution become issues of great importance. Rome was not built in a day, and the students were unable to cover all aspects of the project within the short workshop. Nonetheless, both we, the Kolding School of Design, and ECCO feel that they came a long way! We will leave it up to the reader to decide just how long.


machine

Most women are familiar with the problem of aching feet after wearing high-heeled shoes for a couple of hours.

Su Yu Daniel Kirk Horsbøl Lasse Breinholm Skovlund Julia Trofimova


machine

Su Yu Daniel Kirk Horsbøl Lasse Breinholm Skovlund Julia Trofimova

We have taken the bull by the horns and created a highheeled shoe which can be converted into a flat shoe.


machine

Su Yu Daniel Kirk Horsbøl Lasse Breinholm Skovlund Julia Trofimova

The heel, which is attached to a piece of leather, is separated from the sole of the shoe, and then the entire piece of leather is tied around the shoe and refastened.


machine

Su Yu Daniel Kirk Horsbøl Lasse Breinholm Skovlund Julia Trofimova

The original heel has now become an ornament on the instep of the foot and the shoe has a comfortable flat sole for walking.


Bread dough is the inspiration that has helped give life to this shoe.

dough

Anne Ditlev Katrine Terase Marie Blicher


dough

Anne Ditlev Katrine Terase Marie Blicher

Its structure, colour and shape are influenced by bread and bread rolls.


dough

The shoe floats down from the ankle over the foot like a mass of dough spreading over the body.

Anne Ditlev Katrine Terase Marie Blicher


dough

The name of the manufacturer is stamped on the sole so the shoe can be returned after use and the shoe can then be melted down and made into a new shoe, thus avoiding unnecessary waste and damage to the environment.

Anne Ditlev Katrine Terase Marie Blicher


Everyone walks on their feet. How do we assure that people are on an equal footing?

walkaway

Ann Linn Palm Hansen Laura Locher Tanja Lund


walkaway

Ann Linn Palm Hansen Laura Locher Tanja Lund

By designing shoes which target every human being.


walkaway

Ann Linn Palm Hansen Laura Locher Tanja Lund

The shoe is punched out of one piece thus facilitating production.


walkaway

Ann Linn Palm Hansen Laura Locher Tanja Lund

It can be folded into different materials according to need and preference. Stop, punch, punch – walk!


/Walk%2B-%2Bshoes%2Bfor%2Ba%2Bsustainable%2  

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