Sure, Nikes are well and good for running a lap, but they make quite an attractive aquarium, too. Just take off the upper part of the shoe; use it to model a new, transparent top; add water, goldfish, rocks, and greenery; and hope you've sealed the thing up right.
That's what Akio Iida, Daisuke Maki, Michiyo Ooi, Kuki Aakaeda, Genki Ito, Takeshi Kogahara did. The designers from Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo LAB created their Nike Air Abuku (Japanese for "bubble") as part of Nike78, a design challenge conceived by graphic design student Paul Jenkins that's tasking participants with rethinking the function of a new pair of Nikes.
And rethinking them they are. Designs from a spooky "Silence of the Lambs"-style Nike face mask to Nike gaming shoes a la Wiimote to the Abuku aquarium are now pouring in, with an online gallery launching May 30 to coincide with the 1978 original date when Nike started producing sports shoes. An exhibit displaying the restyled footwear is planned for the London Design Festival in September.
Many of the shoes are whimsical, a few are semi-practical. Some, like the Nike Air Abuku--dubbed by the designers "the shoe that keeps life going"--are meant to carry a message.
"We hope that the people who see this small aquarium built on Nike Air will stop to think about the artificial/natural environments that surround us and the connection between humans and other living creatures," the creators of that fishy footwear say. … Read more