Experimental shoe design with a Scandinavian edge

At Kolding School of Design in southwest Denmark the students are working with experimental shoe design in cross-disciplinary groups with members from industrial design, fashion and textile design. This approach, which combines the strictness of industrial design with the more dreamy, intuitive working methods of the fashion world, has resulted in a number of highly innovative shoes.

The students shoes take their inspiration from very different aesthetic fields, and the challenge the students have been met with in the five projects conducted so far covers aspects of shoe design as different as environmental issues, the challenge of creating your personal dream shoe, making shoe design based on somebody else’s personal stories, working with wild shoes for the catwalk and mild commercial shoes simultaneously, and designing from a non-verbal feeling in an attempt to strike a particular tone in the shoe design.

The shoe design projects are part of the strategic collaboration between Kolding School of Design and Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO. Collaborating with ECCO and using shoes as a learning case for design projects has turned out to be a powerful mix, not least because designing shoes involves a wide range of design competencies: Shoes represent a complex task in terms of form which requires significant competencies in shaping three-dimensional objects; shoes are fashion objects that disseminate and decode contemporary society; and finally shoes represent a universe of diverse materials, surfaces, and details that create comfort and express the function and aesthetics of the particular shoe.

This year the Kolding School of Design opens also a new accessory education, where the students will be focusing on shoes, bags and jewellery.

The school has published a number of books about its own shoe design projects and shoe design in general:
Walk! Shoes for a Sustainable Future.
My Shoe. Personal Dream Shoes for the Real World.
Shoe Stories. Walking the talk.
Wild & Mild. Shoes for the Catwalk and Shoes for the Market.
Shoes – How We Use Them. How We Design Them.
The books can be found at http://www.designskolenkolding.dk/index.php?id=1596

Also, three films have been made showing the students’ work process and the final shoes:

Some of the experimental shoe will be on show at the Virtual Shoe Museum shoe exhibition at the WhatAboutShoes fair in Berlin, Germany February 21-23 2014 and in Slovakia and at the shoe exhibition with the Czech Bata Shoe Museum at Au Park Bratistilava February 2nd till 3rd of March and Au )ark Kocise 4th till 20th of March.

Kolding School of Design
Aagade 10
DK-6000 Kolding

Photo: shoe project by Bella Elmborg, Wenja Rømhild and Mohammed Al-Adhami, 2013.