Adaptive Secondary Skin Derivation For Footwear

A super intriguing project by designer, Zixiong Wei this concept imagines incorporating a second, living skin into a shoe’s construction/material.

“The perception of the environment is a core value of living things today. Different from the “multiple organisms” of living things, existing materials and material assembly methods are relatively independent material properties and characteristics, and the project tries to bridge this gap. The ability to obtain reversible physical changes by mixing different structures of the same material to obtain different properties of the medium. 
The project attempts to change the relationship between shoes and feet from <object and creature> to <creature and creature>, extract from nature and creature, and finally become nature.
– Zixiong Wei

Utilizing a PolyJet printer Zixiong created some beautifully executed mock-ups, which showcase the organic, veiny living organism intention of his idea. A personal favourite aspect of the shoe being the tread pattern which mimics the manner in which skin wrinkles when wet to create better traction.

You can see some of the process behind Zixiong’s “Adaptive Secondary Skin” concept, below.


“The reversible water-absorbing shrinkage of the mixed materials is used to achieve the purpose of water contact shrinkage. The inner consumables are prepared by mixing lignin and polyacetic acid. The shrinkage shape is controlled by the change of surface pore size, so as to achieve the goal of sensing and reacting to the environment.” – Zixiong Wei

Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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