FOOTWEAR BEYOND THE FOOT: Extensions of Being
“Can design be used as a tool to improve psychological well-being and facilitate new empathetic relationships with others as well as with one’s self?”
FOOTWEAR BEYOND THE FOOT: Extensions of Being (2016) looks to redefine the parameters of footwear to encompass design that attaches to the lower limbs - regardless of that limb's characteristics - and explores mind-body connections by directing attention towards the effect such design has on psychological well-being.
The final collection of footwear tools – which includes products for amputated lower-limbs and the non-amputated foot - aims to create both new images of the human body and more empathetic relationships with it.
Research into the practices of the prosthetics industry and the nuanced psychological experiences some amputees face post-amputation led to a focus on designs that encourage interactions, which relate to clinical research finding, interview responses, or techniques employed in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In this way, FOOTWEAR BEYOND THE FOOT looks to advance positive well-being by promoting emotional intelligence and showcases the potential for design to support a person beyond their physicality.
Designed and manufactured utilizing a combination of handcraft and 3D technology, an artistic, hands-on approach to form development was balanced with componentry engineered for user functionality, allowing these products straddle the line between imaginative and implementable.
Cordwainers Dato’ Jimmy Choo MA Award (2016)
Fashion Matters Award (2016)
Photo: Celia Tang
Product + Illustration: Kris Walsh