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.

All models printed in TPU 92 on sPro machines in men's size 9.5. Smaller models printed in ZCorp.

Photo Credits: Diego Pinochet

Diego Pinochet [PhD in Design and Computation]


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


Samuel Insergol [MEng]