The Future of Footwear Design: Algorithm-Aided Design

Often in my journey of designing and developing footwear, I ask constantly “What can I do differently in the creative process to help me solve problems faster?”

Sometimes innovation isn’t in the “what” we create, but in the “how” we create something.

I found out about a plug in for a 3D modeling program called: Grasshopper. This is often use in the field of architecture and the main function is to generate structures within a range of parameters and data set by you which is later translated into a 3D Model on Rhino. As, I was I doing the Grasshopper tutorials. I was thinking, What if I could set parameters to design patterns within the surface of a sole? It’s just take seconds to adjust the range and the model will adapt to the data you feed. I ended up with several designs within a short period of time.

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I deeply believe algorithm aided design is one of the tools that will become as essential as a pen and paper. The power of generating concepts that strive within the parameters is amazing because no matter what you create, it will work. You’ve set the conditions for any idea to function properly. For example: creating a pattern for a shoe out sole. I can tell the program to stay within the designated area, then I can dictate the number, orientation, proportion, shape and scale of the elements that are part of the surface. All these components can be adjusted by simply changing the numbers in the range.

The goal of this article is make creatives aware of this great tool and to welcome technology like algorithm aided design to our creative process. It’s the closest you’ll ever feel to having super powers!

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