Architect and Designer Julian Hakes recently had an example of his groundbreaking, 3D printed, Mojito shoe included in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Shoes: Pleasure and Pain” Exhibition. The exhibition, running from mid-June 2015 through the end of January 2016, has been curated to examine the extremes of footwear from around the globe, and it includes some 200 pairs of shoes.
The designs curated range from a simple sandal decorated in pure gold leaf from ancient Egypt to wildly elaborate designs from contemporary makers.
Hakes’ Mojito shoe collections have been given the Drapers award for “Best footwear designer of the year 2012” and the London-based designer’s footwear will take its place as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent collection when the exhibition closes.
Hakes, who operates his various practices from offices in London and Hong Kong, used an Ultimaker 2 3D printer to build various prototypes and iterations of the shoes after first discovering the Ultimaker during 3D Print Show in New York. It was at that event where Hakes was exhibiting his early versions of the Mojito Shoe footwear line as part of the 3D Print Show catwalk.
As an architect, Hakes had been working in London for more than 10 years before shifting the focus of his work towards fashion – and shoes in particular.
“One late summer night in the studio I was thinking about the design of shoes in general,” Hakes says of his epiphany. “I wondered why there was the need for a foot plate in shoes such as high heels. When I look at a footprint on sand it is very clear to see that the main force goes to the heel and ball. With a high heel providing the heel is supported, even by standing on a wooden block the foot naturally ‘spans’ the gap naturally, with bones and tendons.”
So Hakes says he began to exploring the question in much the same way he would think about the design of a bridge. He examined the parameters involved and then sought “the most simple, elegant – yet poetic – expression of the forces at play within the materials used.”Following some initial conceptualizing with tracing paper and masking tape, he ultimately arrived at “a single wrapped geometry which starts under the ball of the foot and then over the bridge, then sweeping down below the heel before then twisting back on itself to provide the support for the heel and ankle.”
Thus was born the ‘Mojito,’ so named as it looked a bit like a twist of lime skin.
What do you think of the Mojito Shoe from designer and architect Julian Hakes? Can you see purchasing a pair? Let us know in the 3D Printed Mojito Shoe forum thread on 3DPB.com.