Manufacturing of footwear—supply of raw materials, assembly of different components, use of chemicals, disposal of waste—is a polluting industry. In ‘Future Footwear’, cross-fertilization between indigenous skill and crafts and high-tech open-source 3D-technology opens new perspectives for sustainable footwear design and production.
Future Footwear project ‘X-indigenous’ aims to develop new models in collaboration with artisans, using traditional techniques, local materials, and lasts (like the blue one shown) that according to our biomechanical analyses reflect barefoot gait better than traditional lasts. The X-indigenous models are hand-stitched and no synthetic glues and toxic materials are used.
In Future Footwear project ‘3D Print’ we transform indigenous footwear by combining artisan traditions with new technology. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a laser to sinter powered materials. Much like indigenous production, 3D printing minimizes the amount of waste generated and tools and manpower needed.