adidas Futurecraft 4D x UltraBOOST Uncaged x Climacool Concept
Adidas unveiled their Futurecraft 4D concept this April, pitching it as “the world’s first high performance footwear featuring midsoles crafted with light and oxygen”. Launching their “Calling All Creators” program Adidas is encouraging designers to submit their designs to push the boundaries of footwear. Designer Reuben Arnold submitted this fusion of the new Futurecraft 4D, UltraBOOST Uncaged, and the Climacool.
I reached out to Reuben to hear more about his thoughts on the future of technology and footwear design.
What made you get involved in this open-source project by Adidas?
Basically I had seen the launch of this new adidas futurecraft 4D & the calling all creators project and thought I would get involved.
In my day to day job that week I had been in loads of meetings etc etc etc, normal work stuff with nothing creative, so In the back of my mind I had been thinking about where adidas could take this whole new approach.
The new Futurecraft 4D really blew my mind by how the sole is made and formed by a process called Digital Light Synthesis, developed by tech firm Carbon. This is like a industrial revolution, with the potential to shift mass production from the East + Asia back in to the West. With quicker to-market solutions being the absolute key. The reality that one day you can design your own shoe to the exact specification of your foot, and then print it at home is not as far away as you would think.
Costs however will very much make this something that will keep it ultra premium.
Tell us a bit about your shoemash project.
Like most designers you have ideas all the time, some you capture and some just come as a fleeting thoughts. It’s good to get those on paper to at least keep the idea alive before you forget to.
A traditional sketch book to just draw something is great for this. Then you can always go back and bring it to life. The more you try to make time to do it, the more it can be valuable and turn into an idea bank. As you know I have been creating these #shoemash concepts as a way of just being creative in Photoshop and very quickly and quite crudely merge “uppers” from old or new shoes, with interesting “outsoles”.
When did you start these mashups?
This is something that I have been doing for probably the best part of 17-18 years, when a friend of my dads had a mac (one of those big tower style macs) with an early version of Photoshop and showed me how to use the polygonal lasso tool and layers. It’s a process that i don’t really use in my day job. As I mainly use Illustrator and never really touch Photoshop.
But in the last two seasons I have started making more of these concept renderings that it has become somewhat of a thing that has become a real “feel good” addiction. Its really great when people like what you create. Plus you grow a thick skin against negative feedback.
When creating concepts at work its not really about the final design, its about getting an idea – or the feel of a shoe that I’m trying to capture, so these examples are a mixture of my outsole mashed with uppers from my research that can spark an idea or a construction for the basis of the design of the shoe.