Friday, February 24, 2012

The self-repairing shoe

This shoe is an early exploration by Michael Wihart into combining biotechnology with everyday products. He has turned the heel into something truly functional by implementing special cells inside of it, called protocells. When the sole gets damaged over time, these cells will flow towards the damaged parts, and solidify in place in order to repair the sole.

So the shoe is actually turning into a biological, almost alive entity. The developer has emphasized this through the quite radical contraption that was clearly meant to provoke rather than sell itself. It also reminds us of the work of fashion designers Hussein Chalayan and Kei Kagami, who often make their wearable creations into not just a surface around the skin, but a mechanical extension of the human body. These may not be the most comfortable to wear, but they do help shift our perspectives in making us ready for a very dynamic and alive world. Because in the future, our products will not get replaced any longer; they will grow along with us.

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