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TWO: Adaptive Footwear Mind Map

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THREE: RESEARCH METHODS THREE.ONE: Action Research THREE.TWO: Qualitative Research THREE.THREE: Participatory Observation THREE.FOUR: Market Factors THREE.FIVE Sector Chart

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THE.PROJECT.PROBLEM Walking and running is apart of nearly everybodies daily activity, these activities need certain products so that the user can perform to the best of thier ability. Such certain products as running shoes. I believe that there is a need for these certain products to be produced for the individual. Everyone’s feet are different, many people have a foot problem and the average shoe does not account for this. The average shoe takes into account comfort factors but and typical foot problems, for instance load and pressure. Yet many items of footwear are the same. When a new pair of shoes are purchased they have to be "worn" in. The project aims to tackle this issue, through mass customisation. The main aim is to alter shoes in a certain way so that they are still mass produced but can be altered and or customised to fit the consumer’s needs. The projects final result will be able to deal with an individual problem for users and adapt to make and sustain comfort for the user from the beginning. The initial idea for how to counter these for seen problems is for a smart sole/shoe to be researched and designed. Certain areas of shoe design and the anatomy and workings of the human foot are going to be researched. This includes areas such as pressure points, orthotics, inner soles, materials, smart materials, processes, massage and the time frames in which shoes are worn for are all going to be highly considered factors for the design of the product. Not only will this sole/shoe be designed for the competitive world of sport and more recreational activities but there will be also be an inquiry into whether or not the projects PAGE.FOUR

The above mind map depicts the initial thoughts for the project. The mind map covers a problem statement and lists the important factors in the reas of soles, shoes and innovation. This helped the project begin as it was a quick way of listing what was already available and what could one day be the norm. PAGE.FIVE

RESEARCH.METHODS The initial stages of the project are the research phases. Research into what the client/consumer needs is of high importance. “There are many reasons for research, basic, applied and clinical. These include: curiosity; the desire to know something; the desire to know why something is; the desire to know how something works; the need to solve a problem; the desire to serve a client.” (Friedman, K. 2000) Throughout the research phases of my project I aim to use both action research and qualitative research. Both of theses are extremely important.

Action.Research Action research is “a practical research methodology requiring three conditions to be met. First it’s subject matter… second it is a participatory activity where research is collaborated and third the project proceeds through a spiral of planning, acting, observing and reflecting.” (Kember, D and Kelly, M. 1993) Through action research the spiral process will help the project move forward into the design process much quicker as it will not only cover more areas of research but also it will repeat the process throughout its own hidden agenda. Action research will not only help the project to begin faster by constanly accessing and re-evaluating what has been and what is being collected but it will make the project begin before it is seen to be ready too. The two processes are very similar and this will help the transition of research to design seem non-existent and be seen as all one large section or phase of the project. PAGE.SIX

Qualitative.Research Qualitative research will occur within the action research phase. Qualitative research will help establish why certain things are the way they are and why it is important for them to be researched. “In qualitative research initial curiosities often come from real world observations. Emerging from experience, theories, interest in practice, and reflection on personal, professional and political interests.� (Marshall, C. Rossman, G. 1999) Qualitative research looks at quality and not quantity. It is focused on accessing a smaller amount of more important information rather than a wide range of less important figures and facts to see what will work best. This will work better for the project as it will allow more relevant information to be processed and will obtain information quicker as not as much will have to be sorted through or narrowed down to get results.

Participatory.Observation Along action research and qualitative research, conducting current product tests and participatory observation will further develop the project. By accessing what is available at the moment on the current market and getting feedback from different consumers who are testing the products through surveys the project will be able to develop further as it will show exactly what the consumers are wanting in an adaptive footwear product. Everything from the feel of materials to how the product looks will be covered extensively and will access the importance on the design. Not only will tests be conducted with consumers but interviews with professionals in the areas of sports science and poPAGE.SEVEN

diatry will be conducted. This will give me a greater understanding of how shoes function in conjunction with the human foot factors. From these product tests and interviews with associated professionals the project will move into a more participatory observation approach. Participatory observation is “a period of intensive social interaction between the researcher and the subjects, in the subjects environment.� (CSULB 2008) By being actively involved in the research it will allow the project to develop further as it is a more hands on approach. It will work in conjunction with the user testing to access everything that; A) the consumer wants. B) what the project needs. If the project can combine the above research factors it will have all areas that are uncertain for the project to be covered and analysed as important, unimportant and vital to the success of the final adaptive footwear product.

Market.Factors Along with accessing what consumers need in adaptive footwear the market in which the product sits in has to be researched and analysed to see which angle and area the product would best fit into. It will also indicate the life cycle of the product and how long the product will and should last for the consumer. By evaluating what is currently out there in the market place the project will be able to develop further in different areas then that what is now available. To conduct this evaluation a sector chart has been drawn up. A sector chart maps out which products are currently available in the field and which categories that product fits into. It allows the project to see which area has a lack of new products and which area is becoming stronger or is already a strong area. PAGE.EIGHT

From looking at the sector chart we can see that there are many products available for purchase in the inner soles section, from this we can gather that they are a ready made product and are easy to obtain. Moulded shoes are the next most popular section. This section is popular as it is aimed at a certain target market of cyclists. The shoes are solely for the cycling community thus not being the section for the project. Custom moulded inner soles has two different products in its section. One is orthotics which is a medical option and the other is the custom moulded inner sections for snow boots. Both are designed for support in their respective roles. The final section of the sector chart was the Innnovation quarter. This is the section that the project will sit in. The current product which is in the innovation section is the puma Lift shoe. It is constructed using 2 light foams which eliminates most of the weight of regular shoe. Lift stands for light injected foam technology. It is this sort of new inovation which the project is aiming for. Essentially the project is aiming to be combination of all for markets.


THE.BACKGROUND/ AREAS.OF.RESEARCH One of the main areas of the project is developing or finding a smart material which will help the project ideas. Currently shoes are mainly designed to stay in their original shape. They do flex and move with the foot but what if they could adapt to each persons foot characteristics. This could be obtained through smart materials. Such materials as shape memory polymers or alloys could work really well for the project. Shape memory polymers are “stimuli- responsive materials. They have the capability of changing their shape upon application of an external stimulus. A change in chape caused by a change in temperature is called a thermally induced shape memory effect” (Lendlein A, Kelch S 2002) For the project heat-forming polymers would work best as when a foot is in a shoe they produce heat, which would allow the polymer to react and obtain a new shape. Not only would a regular polymer fit the bio for the project but also so would a polymer gel. Polymer gels have the “ability to react to changes in the external conditions by considerable volume changes, swelling or shrinkage. The external stimulus is not only limited to temperature changes. Volume changes can also be triggered by a variation in the pH value. In addition to this it is possible to stimulate certain gels by the application of electric fields or light.” (Lendlein A, Kelch S 2002) PAGE.TEN

For the purpose of the project the polymer would ideally only be able to do this reaction once but with continued research into what the consumers wants and needs also with the thoughts and ideas from associated professionals it could be seen to be a greater purpose of the product to continually change whenever the adaptive footwear is worn. If the changing characteristics were able to be analysed then change accordingly it could work in every consumers favour. A smart material which can asses pressure would be highly useful as it can process the working of the individual foot and allow the polymers to move to the correct areas of the adaptive footwear product. Another major factor in designing a shoe/sole is that of the anatomy of the human foot. Not only the anatomy but also the general ergonomic and anthropometry factors of feet are important in conjunction with these two fields so to are biomechanics. Biomechanics is “the study of forces acting on and within a living structure and the motion that results.” (Best R. 2008) Biomechanics has two main sections within it, which are the basis of its theories. They are Kinematics and Kinetics. Kinematics is “the study of motion in terms of time and location, without any consideration for what causes the motion. Kinematics allows us to describe the motion (outputs) of the human body”. (Best R. 2008) While Kinetics is “the study of the action of forces that cause motion. Kinetics allows us to explain the motion (inputs) of the human body.” (Best R. 2008) Biomechanics has everything to do with the way humans move and interact. This is important to the project as it aims to design an adaptive aspect for human feet. Within footwear the human foot is reacting with PAGE.ELEVEN

LEFT: JF (Joint Force) W (weight) GRF (Ground Reaction Forces) M (Moment) The diagram on the left is explaining what factors need to be considered to find the forces and reactions which are happening when the ankle twists. This point is called the “moment”. RIGHT: HJ (Hip Joint) KJ (knee Joint) AJ (Ankle Joint) GRF (Ground Reaction Forces) The right side diagram is displaying where the centre line is of the joints shown. It shows where the main forces will be exurtedand where the load will be placed.

not only the human body but also with external factors such as the ground and the force being executed form the landing on the that surface. Both kinematics and kinetics are involved with the actions involved within walking and running. They show that the human body does a certain movement and that from the movement a reaction takes places. Kinematics is what causes that movement while kinetics explains not only the human movement but also what forces react from that movement.

The below image explains the differences in alignment and pronation problems associated with certain human factors. It displays how the certain central lines of the human body can change due to simple problems.

From biomechanics the next main area of importance in designing adaptive footwear will be ergonomics and Anthropometry. “Ergonomics is the science of work: of the people who do it and the ways it is done; the tools and equipment they use, the places they work in, and the psychosocial aspects of the working situation while Anthropometry is the branch of the human sciences that deals with the body measurements: particularly with measurements of body size, shape, strength and working capacity.� (Pheasant, S. 1998) From these two related fields we see that ergonomics is the basis of who and why people do things and the parameters which they do theses activities in, while anthropometry is the exact measurements involved with humans within the activities. These two aspects are important for the project as they come hand in hand with designing for an inclusive design project. The project aims to be adaptive for all individuals feet while fulfilling a common design so therefore not only are ergonomics, a set of measurements and sizes important but also the much of the design theory will be place on the anthropometry aspect of the sizes, shapes and how they differ within a wider population of users. PAGE.TWELVE

All factors need to be considered in finding out which dimensions would fit best to the whole of the consumer market. These areas of the project will access where exactly the pressure and load of the human body is being executed and what needs to be done to lighten the load and make the foot work better for the body. Aswel as this they will give information on common factors in the human foot and what problems occurs, from lacking certain factors such as arch support and foot placement while walking. Existing ways of approaching these problems are orthotics. They are moulded inserts for shoes, which help overcome foot problems.

Orthotics (pictured) may be recommended for several reasons. “ Aligning and supporting the foot and ankle. Preventing, correcting or accommodating foot deformities. Improving the overall function of the foot or ankle.” (AAOS 2002) In most cases orthotics will not overcome the consumers problem fully they just allow the user to adapt and have the correct characteristics and limit pain and existing problems. Once the orthotics are removed it isn’t long before the foot problem persists. The project will aim to do the same job as orthotics but be a built in factor of the shoe/sole. This will allow looking after your feet to be cheaper as orthotics are generally very expensive and users are required to get new pairs every few years. Not only are orthotics an existing way of tackling foot problems but some of the existing products on the market are starting to do what the project aims to design. Currently there are existing products that are heat PAGE.THIRTEEN

MTPJ is the abbreviation for the Metatarsophalangeal Joint

BELOW: Shimano moldable cycling shoe explantion diagram


moldable for cyclists and also for snowboarders and skiers. These products are heat moldable for a number of reasons firstly they use less material in the case of the cycling shoes. This is important for cyclists, as they want their feet to be as light as possible so that they can ride for longer and use less energy when turning the pedals. They also allow a greater deal of comfort. Once the shoe is moulded to the foot it will feel like the user is wearing nothing at all as it is just like and outer shell on their foot. In the case of the snowboarding boots they are custom moulded for comfort and support. Being such a larger heavier product support is crucial when wearing them for a long period of time. Not only are products beginning to pave the way in custom individual products but also projects in the area have been emerging for a few years now. For example, currently a project is getting underway in Europe. It is called Custom Fit. The aim of Custom Fit is to allow your bodies information to be scanned then put into a computer and be programmed to be made into a product, which fits your exact physical shape. “The objective is to create customized products fitted to an individual’s geometrics and requirements. Custom fit will concentrate on four specific products- surgical bone implants, helmets, prostheses and sports grips.” Chris Jones Custom Fits project director. Jones also mentions that “Custom Fit could be used within the military for use within protective wear; carmakers too might use it to personalize their vehicles seat and other items such as hand brakes.” (Hibert, L 2004) The project which involves 32 partners from across Europe has 16 million euros being put forward to developing ways of printing products using machines capable of varying materials within single components. Technologies into more adPAGE.FIFTEEN

vanced versions of 3-d printing which have a higher finish are being researched. The project aims to not only meet but also take the ideas, which the two products have begun to do to the next level. The two products are beginning to take into account what consumers need in foot wear and are adapting their product for that. From there one of the projects aims is to get to a level similar to the custom fit project not on the scale of funding or printing machines but to the level of ideas and developing something new and exciting so that adaptive footwear aspects will be of the norm. The project aims to adapt footwear for the individual through a mass produced product. Mass customisation for inclusive design is the basis of my project. By gathering all the necessary factors from the existing products on the market to all the factors involved with the human foot, the project will overcome consistent problems which are evident in many people’s feet. The project will allow new findings with smart materials and adapt them to a new area of design and new market. The project will allow athletes and sport enthusiasts a greater quality of product for cheaper and allow that product to do its intended propose for longer. Finally from the projects findings it will aim to open it up to a larger community of consumers not just the sporting/athletic. The project will adapt to other aspects of footwear and allow a greater amount of consumers to be able access the product.




DVR Mid Semester  

DVR for mid semester review

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