When Nike first introduced its groundbreaking Flyknit footwear technology, it effectively repositioned the landscape of shoe design and manufacturing in a new direction that challenged both brands and consumers to rethink the way they viewed and wore their footwear. Embodying the footwear technology’s sustainability efforts and revolutionary engineering, the Nike Flyknit Collective was established to showcase the ways in which the same ethos of the footwear innovation could be applied to the arts and other realms of “design” as well.
Following on the heels of previous Flyknit Collective workshops in Milan, New York and London, Nike tapped regionally-based innovator, architect, and designer Arthur Huang to curate a special “Feather Pavilion” that was recently unveiled in Shanghai at the Festival of Sport. Aligning with this weekend’s kick-off of Beijing Design Week 2012, the Feather Pavilion was relocated to the city of Beijing and unveiled with a special Flyknit Collective workshop that featured an in-depth explanation of the project directly from Arthur Huang and a range of the Nike team members.
Huang and his team at MINIWIZ worked closely with Nike’s Ben Shaffer and Dave Cobban over a period of more than four months to create the impressive and multi-sensory experience. The Feather Pavilion is an intricately designed installation that encapsulates all tenants of the Flyknit technology both literally and figuratively. As patrons enter the center drone of the installation, the element of performance is promoted as the interactivity of kinetic energy actually transforms and changes the architectural shape and look of the building. The same lightness of the footwear segment is embodied in a lightweight, transparent TPU POLLI-brick construction that stands front and center. The aspect of formfitting is put on display as an intricate pulley system mimics the motion of a loom similar to that of those that are equipped to construct the Flyknits. And lastly, reflecting the Flyknit ethos of sustainability, MINIWIZ’s TPU POLLI-bricks literally transform seemingly unusable trash into a structural commodity that service as the centerpiece of the design.
The Nike Flyknit Collective Beijing Feather Pavilion will be open beginning September 29 and it will run through October 6 to coincide with the comprehensive Beijing Design Week 2012 activities.