Nike ISPA, innovative solutions for design

News — 27 April 2023

On the occasion of Fuorisalone, we met Shamees Aden, British designer and researcher co-founder of Nike's in-house collective that seeks forward-looking solutions.

After "D-iSPA-ssembly Park" in 2022, Nike presented "ISPAnificio" at Fuorisalone: a creative laboratory in the heart of NoLo where workshops and exhibitions took shape to tell the ISPA (Improvise, Scavenge, Protect, Adapt) philosophy and explore the themes of circularity and inter-connectivity. Inside a former panettone factory, the ISPA collective unveiled its latest innovations, ISPA MindBody, ISPA Universal and ISPA Link Axis: three models produced entirely without glue or adhesives that aim to question some basic assumptions about footwear, including aesthetics, materials and production methods. We spoke about this and more with Shamees Aden, Senior Designer, Footwear & ISPA who among other things has worked on the launch of iconic projects such as One's Re-Imagined, Nike x Off-White The Ten andNike x AMBUSH.


From a design point of view, how did the sneaker market evolved in the last years since you joined Nike in 2015?
It has changed a lot, one of the most notable difference is just how democratic footwear design has become. I feel like that with the new venture of digital tools people have been able to create their own footwear and share them with the world, which is really great. It does not feel like it just big company that have influence for the sneaker market, but there is a lot of startup that exist now in this industry.

Do you find inspiration in the industrial design? How do you like Milan Design Week?
My inspiration comes from everywhere, from music to social political changes. What I really love about coming to Milan Design Week is the diversity of products and the experimentation: I have always feel obsessed with materiality of products, here in Milano you can see different execution of material. It’s not only about industrial and furniture design: Milano Design Week is also an opportunity to speculate on what the futures design needs are, in terms of products.


What impact does sustainability have for those involved in design? And what relation do you have with limits?
For me sustainability is an opportunity, it is something that I’ve always very deeply concerned about and something I wanted push and support. At ISPA we are so much mindful of what process and material we use. My personal background is in materials, I’m interested in future solutions closer to the earth as you can see in Mind Body, which contains "Algae Ink" which is made from algae and not petroleum.

Aesthetic and functionality. Do they influence each other?
It is interesting because I feel like that a lot of aesthetic is driven by functionality. And sometimes it’s functionality that influence aesthetic and sometimes it’s aesthetic that influence functionality. My idea around sustainability is trying to reimagine the process in order to build better products: that would lead you to new aesthetics.

A Nike product you are particularly attached to and why.
Definitely the first Nike Flyknit, I love it. I believe that was the biggest sustainable innovation here at Nike.


Tag: Nike Interviste Sustainability

© — All rights reserved. — Published on 27 April 2023

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