MATTHEW KWONG
MATTHEW KWONG

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Design Project of the Month: January 2018

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Project: SNKRS

Learning how to make use of The Hype. 

It's January. The resolutions are set and realistically, it's probably not going to happen. 

However, my time at IDEO in December has kept me fixated on the idea of further developing the mediums which I use (and perhaps the tools as well) and expanding my creative capabilities. I have a whole three weeks of nothing but time, and a laser cutter. 

After endless days of pondering, I decided that I wanted to create something cool with my new-found interest: sneakers. People go crazy over them. They spend thousands and thousands of dollars on plastic and rubber glued together in China. Kinda makes you wonder where capitalism will take us. 

Anyways, my new interest in the design of sneakers brought up this idea that I should create something with these beautifully crafted works of art. 

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Nike Mags
(Project EARL)

Tinker Hatfield & Tiffany Beers

This is the Nike Mags. They were born out of a sci-fi movie that envisioned we would be wearing self-tying shoe laces in 2017. Tinker Hatfield decided to turn that into a reality. 

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 Ever tried splattering acrylic paint into fine spots? It's really hard. After some experimenting with water to soften the paint, it turned out pretty well!   Confined spaces in a place like Hong Kong makes it difficult to create mess so I had to make-do with an old parcel box we had lying around (Thoughts ATM - great lightbox for photoshoots!). Although the splatter was a little finer than expected, it sort of seemed right considering the scale. 

Ever tried splattering acrylic paint into fine spots? It's really hard. After some experimenting with water to soften the paint, it turned out pretty well! 

Confined spaces in a place like Hong Kong makes it difficult to create mess so I had to make-do with an old parcel box we had lying around (Thoughts ATM - great lightbox for photoshoots!). Although the splatter was a little finer than expected, it sort of seemed right considering the scale. 

 When the paint was drying, I was concerned about the larger blobs and how they might not dry (hence the huge mistake in the middle - sshhhh!) but the cold weather did wonders and it held together pretty well!

When the paint was drying, I was concerned about the larger blobs and how they might not dry (hence the huge mistake in the middle - sshhhh!) but the cold weather did wonders and it held together pretty well!

  This little design project seemed to come together pretty well. The ability to bring concept to reality in a short time with a cost-efficient budget means that there is potential for me to create more custom orders in the future. Perhaps, a consideration for future designs would be to add the sneaker name and designer in (for credit purposes) as well as some funky backgrounds as a change? If you've got any ideas, shoot me an e-mail!


This little design project seemed to come together pretty well. The ability to bring concept to reality in a short time with a cost-efficient budget means that there is potential for me to create more custom orders in the future. Perhaps, a consideration for future designs would be to add the sneaker name and designer in (for credit purposes) as well as some funky backgrounds as a change? If you've got any ideas, shoot me an e-mail!

Update #1 - 02/02/18: Jeremy Scott x Adidas Dark Knight

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Jeremy Scott x Adidas

Dark Knight

Following the successful completion of the first prototype, I decided to pursue something a little more difficult. 
With paper, errors can be easily covered with another layer, but doesn't give the art quite as much depth as card. So with these Dark Knight sneakers, I hope to use the cardboard thickness to accentuate the highlight of the shoes - it's wings.

With this new design, I realised the importance of material choice as the textured paper on the wings (see above, second from left) had added a new dynamic to the look as a whole, as compared to simple black paper. The black on the wings, albeit the imitation of casting a shadow, created a mesmerizing form which highlighted the wings. The continued look of slightly separating the sole from the main body also adds a nice highlight to the design overall, with consideration to it's own unique look. 

But in general, this project has taught me that sneaker design knows no boundaries! Who knows what might be created next? 

Matthew Kwong