Footwear: Re-inventing Shoes Workshop at AAtelier Paris

In collaboration with UNITED NUDE, Rem D Koolhaas

The AA (Architectural Association) is one of the world’s most renowned Schools of Architecture. It offers twice a year, since 2011, AAtelier: a 10-day highly international AA visiting school in Paris. What makes this course unique in the world today is its crossover approach between architecture and fashion.

The course is an intensive studio-based program that requires full-time participation and is run by Jorge Ayala whom graduated from the Architectural Association School in 2008. An AA certificate will be awarded upon completion.

Re-inventing Shoes Workshop

In history have Shoes become the accessory defining creative freedom, identity, cultural affiliations, social identities and in some cases architectural knowledge. This semester, AAtelier Paris has set the ambitious goal to encourage its participants to think about the current and future role of shoes by engaging with new forms of unexpected culture.

AAtelier will seek to investigate processes via form and structural finding on footwear as an emerging practice within the world of design. The workshop will be informed by approaches and processes engaging with parameters such as materiality testing, parametrics, digital and physical experimentation, imbrications, gesture, manufacturing tactics and prototyping techniques. Analysing the footprint in a high heeled position, flat position, in motion, exchangeable configurations and relation to the ground will be observed and implemented onto unborn, unknown, unmade, unplug, unthinkable, unreal upcoming fields within the shoe design expertise.

The Footwear Workshop will seek to engage with an encyclopedia of construction studies developing physical, aesthetic and structural elements related to the shoe agency; acquiring a higher degree of formal precision and spatial complexity, embracing micro and macro systems embodied within the shoe.

A set of physical prototyping techniques will allow the AAtelier participants to tailor our novel and innovative agenda with the current and highly competitive world of commercial shoe design. Manufacturing processes challenging material properties limits such as: Pleating, pressed, wet, cut, assembled, dried, slow moulding, pouring, vacuum casting, perforations, 3-D printing etc.

AAtelier aims to engage with different levels of intelligence within the foot landscape, from foot anatomy to structural studies, resulting in finished pairs.

Rem D Koolhaas (not to be confused with the older architect Rem Koolhaas) is one of the great experts and market leaders in architectural footwear. With the launch of his brand ‘United Nude’, 10 years ago, a new era was started for crossing boundaries between design, architecture and fashion. Trained as an architect at the technical university of Delft, going into shoes and then breaking all the rules: ‘not for the sake of breaking them, but simply by not knowing them’. Besides the exciting United Nude design portfolio the brand recently got headlines with their shoe collaboration with Zaha Hadid, where again boundaries were pushed and a new construction methods were invented.

The school is headquartered at Les Arts Décoratifs (located at Palais de Louvre)
107 rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris.