Director of Generative Design/Nike Innovation, Lysandre Follet has been creating incredibly compelling projects for the better of a decade, though this may be the first glimpse into some of the innovative footwear related work he’s been doing since joining Nike.
He recently shared a project that Nike designers, Tom Foxen, Adam Thuss and himself had been working on; algorithm based performance footwear for the 2016 Rio Olympics..
Based on the running technique of the World Champion Jamaican 100m sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the team found she was needing a little extra push to maintain her speed in the last 30 meters of the race.
Using complex algorithms, initially based off of ocean organisms which provided a geometric structure that was both light and stiff, combined with a speedy additive construction processes, the team quickly created an array of plates to test the stiffness and energy return needed for optimal performance during her sprints, enabling her to maintain speed through those last few stages.
“Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price prototype shoe. Using additive manufacturing allowed us to go straight from the design solution generated by the algorithms to a prototype within a few hours, testing, gathering data and iterating a new design solution. Exploring the solution space while validating performance on the track” – Lysandre
What’s also incredibly interesting is the fact that these algorithm based plates aren’t graded in the traditional manner, they both grow and expand uniquely according to the shoe’s sizing.
“In a traditional footwear design process, the design is optimized for the sample size and then graded or scale up and down which compromise the performance of the product. For the RIO Olympic product and throughout commercialization we generated true to the size, performance design solution leveraging the power of computational design. Each size as a unique design.” – Lysandre
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