Muro.exe, or how to create a sneaker from scratch
Published on December 17, 2013
Muro.exe is a new brand of sneakers, whose mission was to create a hybrid sneaker, a mix between a shoe and a sneaker, thus raising the technical quality of urban footwear.
In order to achieve this, the brand decided on an experimental method of design, based on two fundamental principles: on the one hand, follow an approach closer to what is used in industrial/object design than fashion design; on the other, breaking with the logical idea of working with shoe designers, who have acquired a rigid approach handed down by the fashion sector’s. Instead, the team assembled a work group out of people who had never designed a shoe, but whose varied training and experiences could be valuable to the sneaker’s conception.
This equation ended up being the perfect way to create a new product from scratch: to start, they carried out very rigorous conceptual work in order to establish the variables and conditions that the sneaker had to fulfil (pure, functional, minimalist, comfortable, contemporary, unisex, waterproof). Then, the traditional sneaker was deconstructed, in order to understand all its elements, so that the team could see which elements had no functional value (and were solely aesthetic), which were necessary, and among the necessary elements, which could be improved.
The design team was referred to as Concilio ™ and was made up of the industrial designers Ciszak Dalmas (Turín – Madrid), the visual designers La Camorra (Madrid), the fashion designer Bruna Sedó (Barcelona), the architect and conceptual designer Roberto F. Castro (London), the biomechanical expert Iñaki Cid (San Sebastián) and the material investigation centre Materfad (Barcelona).
The design stage lasted about 10 months, during which the team threw away hundreds of sketches, until the design was refined, piece by piece. Starting from the desired variables and a biomechanical investigation that approached the sneaker’s structure from the point of view of comfort, there were two days where the entire work group was physically present together, followed by constant work and re-work on each element, coordinated by the Ciszak Dalmas studio. The decisions made on each detail of the sneaker were based on a functional point of view, and determined by their adherence to the sneaker’s basic variables, instead of aesthetics.
In conjunction with the design process, the team worked very closely with the factory, whose assignment, apart from actually making the shoes, was to create 10 prototypes and revise and adjust the design so that it could realistically be produced..
Using industrial- and product design methodology instead of a fashion design approach allowed the team to reach a final product that was both timeless and ironic, as well as very functional, with clean lines and a contemporary aesthetic, and a silhouette that lends itself well to mood changes and further evolution using different colours and prints.
The final result of the conceptual work can be seen in the nuclear winter, acid rain, and ttaps. Muro.exe series, the first three models of a brand that aims to reinvent the idea of mass production.