_INK DESIGN RUNNER


Background

I am very interested in the collaboration between functionality and performance with street-style aesthetics and sports culture.

To explore this, I wanted to see how I could combine my intricate sketchbook ink patterns with my footwear designs. After looking into manufacturing processes like CNC milling and digital embroidering, I landed on laser cutting and laser engraving to create my designs.

Outcome

The Ink Design Runner is a seamless one-piece, handcrafted leather uppers with laser-engraved patterning. The natural materials ensure that the shoe is breathable and lightweight, and that the leather will mold to the wearer's foot over time.
_Ink Design Alternative Concepts

Some alternate concepts created in Adobe Photoshop using different sole designs.
_Sketchbook

Creativity is often sparked by boredom, and when I get bored,
I like to draw detail-rich patterns. 

Doodling intricate patterns in my pocket sketchbook is a very cathartic and meditative activity for me. The designs are never planned out, and I let the forms of each shape inform and dictate one another. This is a very "stream of consciousness" process, where I let spontaneity of imperfections guide the designs.









_Inspiration: Product & Material Design

Below is a collection of leather molded products and footwear designs that I used for creative inspiration.
_Inspiration: Nendo

I was really drawn to studio nendo's explorations into the natural wear of leather with suntan patterns. The mark making and patterning was a great source for inspiration when diving into how I would apply my own patterns into leather. 
_Inspiration: Innovative Processes 

I am also very inspired by how adidas futurecraft is exploring CNC milling techniques to customize leather sneaker production.
_Process

Below is some documentation of my design/making process, including sketching, pattern making, laser etching, hand-sewing and lasting.



Prototyping different stitching methods for both structural connections and aesthetic detailing. 

From Symmetry to Asymmetry 

Feeling that my initial design explorations were too rigid and symmetrical, I started to overlay ink patterns over the upper silhouette. Embracing asymmetry, randomness and dynamic movement allowed for more playfulness when deciding upon a final design.  
​​​​​​​
Back to Top