The Shoe Tower

First of all, welcome to my graphic design blog! I’ll be documenting my journey through the Graphic Design HND course I’m studying at West Kent College. I hope to not only display finished work, but also to show my thought processes, sketches, and research, and also to gain feedback from the wider design community to aid my learning. So if there are views/opinions on any of my posts, I welcome comments with open arms!

During enrolment, we were given a letter with instructions to prepare all of our shoes to bring into college in the first week. With no further information everyone brought there shoes in with puzzled faces. In order to be creative and innovative, we learnt that its important to “play” with physical objects. We got into small groups and were told to make “an elegant but tall tower of shoes”. With this in mind, Tim and Sancha explained its okay to fail; failure is how we learn, so to get the best result and develop ideas, every possability should be considered. Working within a group helped considerably. Being able to communicate with others and hearing there thoughts and ideas is also key when developing creativity.

To begin with, we made what only can be described as a structured pile of shoes. We all agreed it was important to have a flat solid base, and maybe starting from out to in, to make a pyramid shape. This should in theory distribute the weight of the shoes evenly and hopefully balance.

Our First Attempt
Our First Attempt

Finishing with 10 minutes to spare, we all thought we could improve in this attempt by going narrower therefore giving more height, also trying to use heavier shoes at the bottom, and lighter ones on top. Everyone took turns in sharing there views on how the tower should be constructed.

The Final Tower
The Final Tower

After completing our tower, we looked at other groups designs, some more imaginative and creative than others. One group had inter-linked there shoes in a twisting pyramid fashion. Interestingly, they had used the shoes flat to the floor and built up from there. I thought that was a really simple and clever idea and logical idea that distributed the weight, and positioned the shoes in the way they were designed to be worn.

Other Groups Towers
Other Groups Towers

Tim mentioned a company called “IDEO”. There approach is called design thinking, using three main processes to think creatively;

  1. Inspiration – the problem or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions.
  2. Ideation – the process of generating, developing, and testing ideas.
  3. Implementation – the path that leads from the project stage into people’s lives.

I drew inspiration and confidence in my own ability from the following talks from the CEO of IDEO Tim Brown, and one of the founders, David Kelley.


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