(Re)mix the Kicks
Every shoe tells a story. In the late 18th century, people wore rubber soled shoes called plimsolls, but they were pretty crude—for one thing, there was no right foot or left foot. Around 1892, the U.S. Rubber Company came up with more comfortable rubber sneakers with canvas tops, called Keds. By 1917, these sneakers began to be mass produced. That same year, Marquis Converse produced the first shoe made just for basketball, called Converse All-Stars. In 1923, an Indiana hoops star named Chuck Taylor endorsed the shoes, and they became known as Chuck Taylor All-Stars. These are the best-selling basketball shoes of all time. Since its invention in the 19th century, the footwear has been about much more than athletics—conveying ideas about national identity, class, race, and other forms of social meaning. More than that, shoes have made promises to enhance performance, change your game, and even make you famous—all before we had the ability to really innovate.
With the advent of wearable tech and the ability to use digital fabrication tools like 3D scanners and printers and Raspberry Pi technology, there is no telling what the future of sneakers might look like!
In this Capstone, students will study the history (physical, cultural, and political) of sneakers to bring the past and present into the future. Students will study, design, develop, build, pitch, and market the wearable tech of the future!
How does science, technology, engineering, and math influence design choices?
In a culture full of ideas and images of what we should be, how do we form an identity that remains true and authentic for the individual?
What are the reasons that cultures and individuals create narratives of their experiences?
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