With 2,015 years of innovation elapsed, the landscape for originality is treacherously tainted by technology. Though truly groundbreaking design be rare, meaningful improvements inspire advanced iterations of the existent. This Spring, United Nude and 3D Systems partner with 5 of the world’s leading architects and designers on a collaborative project entitled ‘Re-inventing Shoes.’ Visit United Nude’s Bond St. store in NYC to see sculptural (yet functional) shoe design by Ben van Berkel, Zaha Hadid, Ross Lovegrove, Fernando Romero, Michael Young, created from the highest quality 3D printing equipment. Keep reading for a look inside...
Re-Inventing Shoes exhibit at the 25 Bond St. NYC store
Up front, the ILABO shoe by product designer Ross Lovegrove amplifies the idea of attraction and repulsion, down to a single point of convergence. A combination of technology, science and organic form serves as the basis of Lovegrove's aesthetic.
"I have used this project to establish a moment where physical innovation in materials density and layered matrix node structuring, are coalesced to enhance the sensuality of the female form whilst remaining clearly technological... ultimately the shoe has been truncated to extending the perception of criticality and in doing so eliminate weight and mass which for me is a symbol of decadence."
--Ross Lovegrove [source]
ILABO by Ross Lovegrove for United Nude
Designer Michael Young's YOUNG shoe takes the form of a black lattice. Blending both durable and flexible, Young's design pushes the boundaries of design and production.
"The process and material allowed us to create this unique lattice work that builds upwards around a heeled shoe to create a boot with the tactility of lace work that is in fact both durable and flexible at the same time."
Postcards of all 4 styles
Flickering flames are the inspiration for architect Zaha Hadid's FLAME shoe. Capturing the dynamic, delicate and ephemeral qualities of fire, the curved contours capture the essence of Hadid's design. Patterned after the traditional stiletto, the back "heel" never touches the ground, yet the sharpness creates an illusion of stability.
Flame by Zaha Hadid for United Nude
AMMONITE by Fernando Romero convenes geometry and mathematics and its connection to nature.
"Intertwined in this shoe are the old and the new, the organic and the exquisitely man-made, growing together to become simultaneously timeless and forward-looking. This shoe uses the most cutting-edge 3D printing technology both in design and execution, but the result is a shoe that could have been an object found in nature, a delicate fossil that has been buried on the bottom of the ocean for millennia."
UNX2 shoe by Ben Van Berkel highlights the mechanics of the foot both static and in motion.The hoof-like silhouette highlights the shifting transparency within mobility.
"The UNX2 shoe creates patterns of movement and produces a dynamic form of image-making through motion. It was also our intention to make visible the 'process' of design in the final object: the digital strategy that was employed when testing the position of the foot within the shoe. So there is a kind of literal transparency, but also a phenomenological transparency that reveals both the process of design and the process of movement."
--Ben Van Berkel
UNX2 by Ben Van Berkel/UNSTUDIO
Each of the five unique designs crafted with Selective Laser Sintering technology are replicated in a 50-pair limited run. The shoes are for sale and on display at each of United Nude's retail outposts. Stop by UN's Bond St. store before June 7th to see their new summer styles and the 3D printed pairs.