Hand-cut styrofoam, window screen, zipper, nails, indigo thread, acrylic paint, Elmer's glue, Gorilla glue, Rhino, Illustrator, clay
Columbia University (New York, NY)
Recording erosion was a multi-phase project that started by creating an object that could record, document and reveal the unseen geography of erosion that emerges between your feet and the ground.
These shoes were not meant to be durable but the complete opposite, erosive: the greatest challenge was conceiving a design that could withstand the body weight of human being but also be able to slowly give into it. Styrofoam promised a surface that was supportive while remaining open and malleable to things in the urban environment, enabling the person to walk through different urban terrains and collect/record different modalities of erosion.
Once the functionality was confirmed, the design was re-evaluated to provide wearability and comfort. Still keeping in mind the fact that the shoe is a recording device, the final design prioritized minimal connectivity between the fabric and the sole to maximize the space allotted for erosion.
After a series of field studies and visualizations, which included using Rhino as well as codifying the erosions into hand-drawn abstract notations, I produced a physical model of a fictional park where a person can walk through an architecture of erosion. The patterns expressed by the lasercut lines were inferred from the ebbs and flows of erosion that the shoes experienced in the city. Materials from various sites of engagement were collected and preserved between acrylic panes, such as grass, pebbles, dirt, dead leaves and miniscule broken pieces that may or may not have come from glass bottles.