Expertiseportaal van de Hogeschool Gent


Future Footwear 2.0: Research at the convergence of indigenous craftsmanship and modern technology and materials for sustainable footwear design and production

Project: Onderzoeksproject

  • Willems, Catherine (Projectcoördinator)
  • University of Liverpool , Verenigd Koninkrijk (Projectpartner)


The project wants to point the way to future design practices that are environmentally sustainable and informed by indigenous wisdom. The research combines three disciplines, i.e. design, anthroplogy and biomechanics. It aims at, first, analysing the footwear and gait of different communities and translate our research insights into footwear design (artistic creations). The footwear design experiments are based on indigenous models and involve co-production with local practicioners and with ingeneers operating 3D printers.

By integrating across overlapping and intersecting themes—PEOPLE (anthropology), PLANET (sustainable design & technology), and FEET (biomechanics); see— the project aims to promote our understanding of healthy footwear and of human locomotion and by studying and working with indigenous cobblers and by coordinating multidisciplinary projects on design anthropology, sustainable production, and biomechanics.

Second, we will explore the feasibility of creating a “cobbler skills centre”, with the long-term vision of building an internationally recognized center of excellence for footwear design, research, and education, including a carefully created and curated databank of biomechanical data on barefoot and shod walking. The dual mission of this center is to preserve and re-create indigenous footwear using local techniques and to combine indigenous knowledge and skills related to footwear with new technologies.


StatusIn uitvoering


Verwante onderzoeksoutput