United Nude and its creative director Rem D. Koolhaas have always been on the forefront of creating innovative and even questionable footwear. With Koolhaas’ training in architecture, the brands heels can sometimes look and feel like scaled down skyscrapers. This is especially true of United Nude’s new 3D printed heels, the Highrise Shoe.
Created for the ZONAL exhibition featured at Wanted Design NYC, the Highrise Shoes were printed out of polyamide, a durable and strong material used in textiles and sportswear. A fitting material and construction method given the philosophy of the exhibition: optimistic technofuturism. Various designers were assigned a zone of the human body to create a product for the exhibition – D. Koolhaas was given the “foundation” zone.
The charcoal grey heels look like architectural models at first, with clear references to scaffolding and construction methods. Heavy-duty linear elements stand out, along with floors and columns within the shoe itself. Each shoe has an aura of a futuristic building, just waiting to be built in a metropolitan city.
D. Koolhaas’ shoes are a stunning example of understanding the relationship between architecture, fashion, and scale. It’s a little hard to picture the miniature buildings on a pair of feet – but the 3D printed shoes are definitely a step into an optimistic techno-future.
Photography courtesy of United Nude