Liz Theocayo is a footwear designer and researcher, focusing on the impact of material innovation and emerging manufacturing processes on design structure and form. Her goal is to re-examine how technical materials support and reshape fashion shoes at the most exciting level through her company, Ourownskin.
Give us some of your own experience and how it guides you to do this.
I studied at the University of Cincinnati and worked in industrial design. Then I moved to England and worked on product and furniture design for many years. Out of practicality, I began to work in the fashion accessories designer industry. In 2011, I began to study for a master's degree in footwear literature. I combine fashion, leather clothing, furniture and product design. When I look at product lenses, I believe that 3D printing will help designers create and manufacture more easily, thus providing more control and innovation in design. On an occasional occasion, I discovered that natural nonwovens and soft materials have the characteristics of mass customization. Then I began to learn more about synthetic biology and how to create more mass customization. I think I can now solve the problem of limited 3D printing materials. At that time, I did a lot of innovative work with companies engaged in 3D printing design.
Can you share your design ideas with us?
We need to convey and inspire design concepts and consolidate them by talking to the wearer. My business partner, Rohan Solomon, has extensive experience in facilitating the conveyance of ideas in seminars. With Ourownskin shoes, we work with Manolis Papastavu to create a structure inspired by human skin. This is a responsive 3D printing structure that behaves like skin. Following this project, we worked with King's College London on a scoping project to design shoes for people living in e-commerce environments. We believe that low operating customization quality, coupled with the fine, complex and parametric features of 3D printing, can provide solutions to the needs of this small group of wearers. It's important to see a multidisciplinary team and a product-related fashion design. Of course, the innovations we derive from the project may penetrate into other areas.
What do you think of technology? How does it shape the future of footwear?
You can now track things related to sensors. Technology should be invisible, and the most interesting thing is the response of material technology. It can correct many aspects, such as posture. Ultimately, my personal interest is how to define this technology as footwear aesthetics. Technology and culture will complement each other. From the point of view of the evolution of footwear design, we have designed the appearance of the shoes, but in the future we will build them according to the feeling of the feet.
As the theme of footwear, 3D printing is very interesting. How practical do you think 3D printing is in footwear design?
It is undeniable that 3D printing is a key way of shoemaking at present and in the future, but its popularity has been slow. This may be due to the investment in the factory and the relationship between the annual production of more than 24 billion pairs of shoes! This slow growth may also be due to the evolution of relationships among shoes, manufacturing, machinery and people. Before the Industrial Revolution, we made shoes by hand, and then we built machines for automation. Developed machines and process systems take us to today's stage. It can be said that machines are driving changes in design. We hope that through the structure of Ourownskin shoes, we can add some body-inspired things to the 3D printing grid.
What are the basic skills for future footwear designers?
Process and assembly are very important. Practical skills include parametric design. I think it's also important to understand the supply chain. If designers don't pay attention to materials, they will be limited.
What are some good resources and biomaterials that should focus on fashion?
At present, some good work has been done in the application of circular economy model to the fashion of polymer materials. I think the recycling system using biodegradable materials needs to be vigorously promoted. Let's really concentrate on getting local materials and reducing emissions from long-range distribution models. Many leaders in the field of fashionable biomaterials gathered in New York at the Bio-plate Conference and gave speeches. I am fortunate to be able to work with mycelial materials from Mogu, which shows great hope!
What's your favorite project, and what kind of technical media and design do you use?
Marshall is one of my favorite projects. I've done a lot of research in space, and the people I'm talking to are technically very focused on excluding the humanities. This is not the case. In the process of digging into history, I found that the father of space movement was a philosopher. He believed that we would defeat death, so we needed to expand elsewhere. Space is driven by human desires. As designers, we are always committed to the idea of making the world a better place. We have done a lot of speculative work, but we are also working in practice.
What are your goals for the fashion industry in the next five years?
I want to combine shoes with other items, biomaterials and 3D printing, try printing a pair of leather shoes with biomaterials, and build a human body material library in the future.
Source from: Creative 3D https://creality3dpro.store/