In the last 2 decades or so, sneakers, more than any other footwears, transcended beyond their original functions. No longer they are just commodities for the everyday. Instead, sneakers have become prized processions to some, artworks to others, and style accessories to many. As this gradual transformation is taking place so is a new culture taking roots outside the confine of gyms and playing fields. To document this progression and sneakers’ new role in reference of its original purpose, designer Paul Jenkins established NIKE78, a project inspired by Nike‘s own evolution.
Part art, part design, intermixed with a sort of social experiment, Jenkins asked participants creative talents, design studios, and related organizations, to come up with a concept that will challenge the functionalities of sneakers. To add a certain dimension, participants, have to use sport, the intended function of sneakers, as a central theme. Each will then be giving a pair of Nike sneakers as the mediums to express their concepts. The project will be documented on the NIKE78 website and a special presentation will take place at London Design Festival 2010 this Fall. As with Nike who redefined what sneakers are back in 1978, NIKE78 will redefine their functions once again.