Wieden+Kennedy London - Nike Free Your Mind MK I
Each section of the sole resembling the lobes of a human brain.
Guy Featherstone is a true Nike head, he's been a fan of the brand since his skateboarding days as a child. His love of the brand is based on Nike's design credentials, which are always rooted in performance and Nike's desire to innovate solely to enhance an athlete's ability.
So when Guy and the team were asked to take part in the NIKE78 project they were really stoked. The brief was to challenge the functionality of the Nike Free technology. The Nike Free running shoe was inspired by athletes who train barefoot in order to make their feet stronger, a real innovation story rooted in the sport that's at the heart of Nike's soul.
As soon as the team got the shoe they started to play. They soon noticed the hyper-extended sole took on the appearance of grey matter, each section of the sole resembling the lobes of a human brain. They knew from this point that they wanted to create something that was centered around how sport can effect the brain.
Part of their intention was to take this as far as possible and subvert it to the ridiculous, to try and fuel a debate.
Sport leads to effecting the brain in positive ways. Spitting out endorphins to make us feel good. What if the latest fad let you reach a state of happiness without putting the work in?
This piece is the antithesis of what Nike stands for. It's meant to be fun, but also make us think about the power and importance of sport in making us feel good. There are no short cuts.
Credit: Guy Featherstone, Stuart Harkness, Dominic Tunon, Nic Owen