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Reimagining Manufacturing: A Different Way to Make Shoes

Dutch designer Eric Hullegie took a creative look at how shoe manufacturing could be changed.

Dutch designer Eric Hullegie worked with Camper to create a line of mass-manufactured shoes that are each uniquely colored. He studied Camper's vacuum-formed manufacturing process, finding opportunities to tweak it. Hullegie explains his motivation:

How can you change and redirect an existing process in order to change the products that are its outcome? How can you use existing processes for purposes they haven’t been designed for? That’s what matters to me. My focus is not on designing finished products or on mastering or applying known artisanal skills. Instead I concentrate on ways of production.
For this reason I cooperated with the Spanish shoemaker Camper, not being a trained shoemaker myself. It was my aim to have the people of Camper do what they are best at—making shoes according to longstanding technical standards and procedures—and at the same time add something of my own by interfering with the process of production. In this way I cleared the ground for new results in terms of construction, the use of different techniques, materials and forms.
Today’s circumstances in my opinion make it more necessary than ever to take a closer look at different possibilities with already existing means and resources, a topic returning in the second part of my graduation. Changing and speeding up the application of new and conventional production processes to new ends play a key role in this second collection.

As Hullegie says, this is the time we need to start reimagining manufacturing. It's interesting to think about how designers may have more of a role in creatively shaping that change.

Images courtesy of Eric Hullegie

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