Shoe as a Field, Workshop @ MIT, Jan 2019

Can shoes become more like gloves? 

This workshop aims to re-formulate the shoe as a “field” as opposed to an “object” and generate a variety of out-of-the-ordinary design concepts. We will arrange a quick (optional*) tour of the NB production facilities to understand how a shoe’s parts are put together, to witness present day methods for piecing together whole shoes from a combination of discrete parts. We will then “unlearn” immediately via diving into data-driven generative design models to start exploring shoes that come to life as wholes. The hands-on experimentation, visualization, and digital prototyping (3D printing) efforts will yield a collection of shoes as (various, harmonious, contradicting!) fields. We will bring in data that is meticulously collected at New Balance’s Sports Research Lab. We will run skill-building sessions in which data-processing methods will be shown. The rest will be about expanding the design concepts that develop upon performative, aesthetic and manufacturability considerations.

Diego Pinochet [PhD in Design and Computation]


Shaoying Tan [SMArchS] and Guillermo Lankenau [Mech Eng.]


Isabel Qamar [CSail] and Renaud A Danhaive [PhD, Building Technology]