Rewild the Run

Kiki Grammatopoulos

Boasting spiky blue outsoles, these sneakers become vessels for plants and seeds to get hooked on when people walk or run, allowing them to spread across cities, 2023.

Promoting positive participation in the ecology of the urban environment through the redesign of footwear. The increase in urban developments has contributed to the extensive fragmentation and reduction of natural habitats. Urbanisation has a range of adverse effects on ecosystem functioning, including the disruption of plant dispersal processes across the landscape.

Urban rewilding seeks to equip cities and towns to support wildlife and cater to diverse ecosystems within urban constraints. The city is an entirely man-made construct and demands intuitive thinking to integrate natural spaces within it.

Therefore a vital part of urban rewilding is the human component of the process. Footwear is our connection to the ground and our environment. Inspired by animal hooves and fur, this project proposes that our outsoles could promote biodiversity and further cultivate ecosystems, by mimicking the behaviour of ‘keystone species’. With this project, we democratise Urban Rewilding, allowing city dwellers to engage in the ecological growth of the local environment.

Experts and Collaborators: Lewis Rees, Run The Boroughs x New Balance |
Riccardo Cook, Footwear Designer, Pronoia StudioMatthew Overlan, Cognitive Researcher, DeepMind
Barbara Smith, Lecturer in Ecology, MA Regenerative Design, CSM.

© Kiki Grammatopoulos, photo’s by Tom Mannion.

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