Ink Design Runner

_INK DESIGN RUNNER

Background

I wanted to explore 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 features a seamless one-piece, handcrafted leather upper 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.

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_Ink Design Runner + Alternate Running Soles

Exploring how the Ink Design Runner would look like in some Nike VaporMax and adidas Futurecraft 4D soles.

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_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.

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_Designing for Aesthetic Function

I wanted to create and incorporate an intricate pattern for a footwear project, so I started working on designs that fit into the shape of the upper I had designed.

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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.  

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_Prototyping

Before creating my final physical design, I wanted to explore form, stitching detailing and construction methods in a looks-like footwear prototype.

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_Final Design Construction & Lasting

After finalizing on a silhouette form and pattern, I had my designs laser engraved into leather uppers and tongues.

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