Are there similarities between manufacturing upholstery for automobiles and making a pair of shoes? Artist Joris de Groot thinks so. The Amsterdam-based product designer is interested in the tension between craftsmanship and industry.
De Groot looked to the techniques involved in manufacturing car interiors to create his In4nite II 2000N Pressed Shoe collection. He chose to work with Low & Bonar’s Colback®, a textile used to create auto upholstery. The designer created his own workplace on the grounds of a factory in order to experiment with industrial machinery and materials in new and innovative ways.
De Groot researched how the material is molded. In its laboratory, Low & Bonar runs tests on its materials in order to minimize irregularities. This involves applying a linear pattern in the molding process to monitor the ways in which the material behaves when it is formed.
Intrigued by the process, de Groot applied the technology to create the shoes. He experimented with the tufted Colback material by playing with the linear patterns. The details and inconsistencies that emerged constitute the aesthetic character of his collection.
De Groot took inspiration from other car interior manufacturing techniques. The tufted material is molded in the same way car upholstery gets shaped. In a nod to car mats, the soles of the shoes are made of light EVA foam. For further details, visit www.jorisdegroot.com.