With Nike unveiling a whole host of inspirational content with their Nature Of Motion Video to highlight their upcoming Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan, NIKE Global Design VP, John Hoke discussed the impetus behind the company’s creations.
We continually look to nature, the master innovator, for inspiration, because of how it solves problems not just practically, but also gracefully, beautifully.
Below I’ve taken a rather large chunk of the article –
For us, the goal is goose bumps, a visceral reaction to something beautiful, because the best design should captivate at first glance. But of course we also want form to serve function, so we strive for balance, knowing that no one piece stands alone and that everything needs to exist in harmony with everything else, including the athlete’s emotional mind-set.
We operate on the principle that if we can design a cohesive system that works together, we can effectively reduce or eliminate all meaningful distractions and allow the athlete’s mind and body to focus solely on performance. Here at Nike, that process starts, both from a philosophical and a practical standpoint, with listening to the athlete. But that’s really only the beginning. What the athlete tells us informs just a portion of our method. Breakthrough comes from combining what the athlete says with what we observe and what performance data is disclosing and predicting.
But while we have an incredibly rich suite of data at our disposal, data doesn’t design. That’s our part. It’s up to us to sort, synthesize and structure that data into a form that is both striking and functional — something that speaks to its intention while transcending the merely utilitarian, blending precision with emotion. This is part of the reason we continually look to nature, the master innovator, for inspiration, because of how it solves problems not just practically, but also gracefully, beautifully.
Nature also teaches us a master class in adaptation — in the need for a symbiotic relationship between a living thing and its environment. Our designs increasingly conform to the athlete, so that a shoe no longer needs to be broken in but is at peak efficiency and performance right out of the box. And from there, the goal is products that adapt both to individual athletes and to the specific needs of the athlete in the moment.
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