“THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS THAT WE DON’T NEED MORE STUFF! IT IS VITAL THAT WE SHIFT OUR ATTITUDES AND PUT OUR ENERGY INTO ADDRESSING WASTE, SLOWING DOWN THE PRODUCTION OF GOODS, TAKING RESPONSIBILITY AS DESIGNERS AND CONSUMERS.”
Do you understand your work as design or as art?
I sometimes consider my work art, and sometimes design. When I analyse the pieces, and I see the process and the stories of human agency which collaboratively build the shoe, I deem my work art. The shoes are artefacts, they embody efforts, stories and memories. The upper is spontaneous, inspired piece by piece, it can take days, weeks. As I build the collage of pieces, constructing the textures and landscapes around the last, it is art but when I fit the shell of the upper with the internal structure necessary for the shoe and create the sole, it becomes design. Within my practice I understand art to be at the core of the idea and design being defined as the functionality and resolution of the concept.
My designs subvert the norms of footwear construction and design, because the shoe is essentially made inside out and from the bottom up. I tried to challenge the technical properties and traditions of shoemaking and by hacking and remastering discarded sneaker components, the shoes are a curated collage of pieces, in each pair the left and right are entirely different, yet the overall look and feeling is the same. This was the biggest challenge for me; everyone expects two shoes to match, how do you make a pair appear to be both the same when they are completely different?!
How do you feel about your whole experience at the RCA and are you excited to head out into the industry?
The RCA has been an overwhelming ride: an amazing and crazy experience, with the most beautiful and inspiring creatives I could have hoped to meet. The culture and people at the RCA have taught me so much, it was truly an unforgettable experience. I am excited to head into industry, I have so much knowledge to gain and things to learn, but I also feel like I have something valuable to give.
I hope to continue with my own work in the future, but not necessarily as a brand as such, but a practice or residency where I can create one off trainers for interesting people that like what I do. I do not want to disconnect from the physical act of making, so if it takes one month to make a super cool pair of shoes and I work every night in a bar, I would prefer that to churning out designs for the sake of making money.
How would you like the industry to change?
The biggest issue is that we don’t need more stuff! It is vital that we shift our attitudes and put our energy into addressing waste, slowing down the production of goods, taking responsibility as designers and consumers. There is movement towards post-commerciality, as small brands strive to take ownership and revive craftsmanship. I feel that it is not necessary to be all things to all people any more, in this manner; I hope that my practice will appeal to some people.