3D Printing

Zaha Hadid and other top designers unveil 3D-printed high heels

Zaha Hadid and other top desig...
"Flame-like bands originate from the point of the heel, rising upwards to gently embrace the foot, while the ergonomically optimized foot bed provides comfort and support," says the brief for Flames, by British-Iraqi architect and designer Zaha Hadid (Photo: United Nude)
"Flame-like bands originate from the point of the heel, rising upwards to gently embrace the foot, while the ergonomically optimized foot bed provides comfort and support," says the brief for Flames, by British-Iraqi architect and designer Zaha Hadid (Photo: United Nude)
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"With the design for UNX2, we wanted to dress the foot in such a way as to make its form partially visible, to highlight the mechanics of the foot and the visual effects that can be created by the shoe in motion," says Dutch architect Ben van Berkel, of the UNX2 (Photo: United Nude)
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"With the design for UNX2, we wanted to dress the foot in such a way as to make its form partially visible, to highlight the mechanics of the foot and the visual effects that can be created by the shoe in motion," says Dutch architect Ben van Berkel, of the UNX2 (Photo: United Nude)
"The freedom afforded by the unbridled free form sculpting of advanced 3D printing is totally invigorating and emotionally stimulating," says Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove of the Ilabo shoes (Photo: United Nude)
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"The freedom afforded by the unbridled free form sculpting of advanced 3D printing is totally invigorating and emotionally stimulating," says Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove of the Ilabo shoes (Photo: United Nude)
"Working on this project has allowed the office a unique opportunity to explore and expand within a rare dimension," says English designer Michael Young Studio of the Young Shoe (Photo: United Nude)
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"Working on this project has allowed the office a unique opportunity to explore and expand within a rare dimension," says English designer Michael Young Studio of the Young Shoe (Photo: United Nude)
"Flame-like bands originate from the point of the heel, rising upwards to gently embrace the foot, while the ergonomically optimized foot bed provides comfort and support," says the brief for Flames, by British-Iraqi architect and designer Zaha Hadid (Photo: United Nude)
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"Flame-like bands originate from the point of the heel, rising upwards to gently embrace the foot, while the ergonomically optimized foot bed provides comfort and support," says the brief for Flames, by British-Iraqi architect and designer Zaha Hadid (Photo: United Nude)
"At the intersection of the geometry of nature, the human body, and the cosmos, the design of this shoe finds its beginning—in the geometries calculated through mystifying yet rational natural numeric sequences," says Mexican architect and designer Fernando Romero of the Ammonite shoe (Photo: United Nude)
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"At the intersection of the geometry of nature, the human body, and the cosmos, the design of this shoe finds its beginning—in the geometries calculated through mystifying yet rational natural numeric sequences," says Mexican architect and designer Fernando Romero of the Ammonite shoe (Photo: United Nude)

When you think of Zaha Hadid, shoe design probably isn't the first thing that springs to mind (even if she does have prior experience). However, the architect joined forces with Ben van Berkel of UN Studio and three other top-tier designers to produce 3D-printed high heels for United Nude. The shoes are on display at this year's Salone del Mobile.

The futuristic footwear was designed for United Nude's "Re-Inventing Shoes" project, which seeks to explore 3D printing and its usefulness for shoe design. We haven't got a great deal of information on the actual design and manufacturing process used, but know they were fabricated using Selective Laser Sintering technology, like Nike's Vapor Laser Talon cleats, and the high heels combine hard nylon and a soft rubber material.

"We ask the participant to design a pair of shoes (pumps or booties) where shape and structure are to be played with while exploring the boundaries of the laser sintering 3D printing technology, "says United Nude. "Think of shape layering and breaking the silhouette of conventional shoes and more, but that what we really are after is surprise."

"The freedom afforded by the unbridled free form sculpting of advanced 3D printing is totally invigorating and emotionally stimulating," says Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove of the Ilabo shoes (Photo: United Nude)
"The freedom afforded by the unbridled free form sculpting of advanced 3D printing is totally invigorating and emotionally stimulating," says Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove of the Ilabo shoes (Photo: United Nude)

In addition to designs from Hadid and van Berkel, Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove produced the Ilabo shoes (above), English designer Michael Young came up with the appropriately-named Young shoes and Mexican architect and designer Fernando Romero offered his Ammonite shoes.

Though you certainly wouldn't want to wear such arty footwear to walk the dog, United Nude says each example is fully-functional, and available for purchase in a limited run of just 50. As for cost, the firm is somewhat coy, stating that the price of each pair will be the production cost, plus US$2,000 – though it's probably one of those times that if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Source: United Nude

8 comments
f8lee
Clever footwear in which to stand still, but without a heel how is the victim wearing a pair supposed to walk? Purely on constant tiptoe?
Charles S Roscoe
Lol, The other shoes look like hooves.
Koolski
Can you say fugly???
VirtualGathis
The ones with the spikes looks like a good way to end up in the ER. After taking just a few steps the victim wearing them would have punctured her calf multiple times.
Bill Bennett
Nice Gams
Deadpan
The damage to the foot and especially the Achilles tendon with every wearing is not something to be celebrated merely because of the use of a technology that we are all following closely with anticipation for what comes next.
owlbeyou
Further proof that Zaha Hadid (and numerous other designers) are highly overrated. I might say that she should stick to architecture, but that's too polite for most of the crap she produces. But don't say that to the worshipers of these questionable designs. They are too preoccupied with the glam and glitter to even notice, but given some time, people will look back and realize what stupid and superficial folly these were.
Fabian8
Come on guys, these designs are experiments. And to be honest 3D printing IS already changing footwear: both in sports/medical (http://i.materialise.com/blog/entry/3d-printed-footwear-how-3d-printing-is-changing-racetracks-and-runways) as well as in fashion.