Winners and finalists
S O L U S / Soluzione sostenibile
Innovative and Tech Projects
Sports shoes (sneakers) have enjoyed worldwide success especially since the beginning of the 21st century. However, their production has a considerable impact: just think that a classic pair of sneakers produces about 136 kg of carbon dioxide emissions, while other types of shoes, on average, release about 30 kg of carbon dioxide into the environment. The traditional athletic shoe is made up of 26 materials and between 8 and 12 components, while its assembly, which can contain up to 65 distinct parts, can count about 360 steps. In a seasonal fast fashion world where mass waste is generated very quickly, it is good to consider that these are products made of mixed materials (glued or sewn) that make recycling a very complicated and expensive process, sometimes impossible, with an impact. devastating on the environment. Today, more than ever, it is time for a sustainable change: we cannot think and expect to live a healthy future in a world that is not. The following project addresses the environmental problems deriving from the life cycle of this product system, but also the health problems caused by the behavioral choices of users. Solus tries to find, through design and engineering, a suitable solution without eliminating the source.
SOLUS is the need to create not only a shoe with a new design, but a new concept of LCD, literally Life cycle design. This means that Solus shoes have been designed and engineered taking into consideration the product-system and trying to facilitate all phases of the life cycle (pre-production – production – distribution – use – disposal). The project seeks to focus directly on the product rather than designing and producing specific post-products for managing environmental impacts. Solus, from the Greek Suola and at the same time acronym for Soluzione sostenibile, is a project born from the desire to find an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional sneaker, frequently used by amateur sportsmen: not practicing sports at a professional level, people prefer to use the same footwear rather than buying specific ones depending on the activity carried out and the terrain on which one goes to practice (basically for practical and economic reasons). This choice by the user involves a greater stress on damage over time than other types, with negative consequences for both environmental health and physical health, as well as becoming a greater financial commitment.
Solus allows both to change, once worn, all parts of the shoe in a simple, fast and intuitive way, and to wear a product suitable for any type of terrain, resulting in optimal human and environmental health. To obtain this result, the components of the shoe are reduced to two (external shell, midsoles) while the type of material is the same (TPU); possibly in case of rain, an additional component could be a sock that acts as an upper in Gore-Tex membrane. This means a significant decrease in operations and steps for construction, decommissioning and maintenance, less pollution linked to emissions and waste (scraps and production waste), as well as a considerable saving in the use of energy and in use. of resources. When a component is consumed, it can be replaced without having to throw away the entire shoe. From the originality of its design, in line with the principle according to which form follows function, the improvement in the quality of the user experience arises: to assemble Solus the operation is practical, fast and intuitive. To dispose of Solus, the same (only two pieces, same material). Each interchangeable midsole is designed specifically for specific situations and terrains, rationalizing the time of use and consequently the wear and tear. The internal compound of the soles is designed to be more or less soft and shock-absorbing depending on the activities carried out, as well as the different design of the grooves on the tread: The tread blocks can vary in size, arrangement, number depending on the terrain and activity carried out (Biomechanics). Solus takes this mechanism into consideration to guarantee the user (amateur sportsman) the use of a suitable tread according to the activity and the terrain. All this guarantees properties such as grip, adherence, traction and cushioning, improving grip on the ground, stability and therefore a correct postural movement (satisfying the fundamental principles of Biomechanics), making Solus an adequate support for every situation.
The external shell has holes in the upper part that define the shape in an essential and measured way, while in the lower part (the one comprising the joint) of the grooves with lateral bands that give the shoe a sculptural and streamline appearance, focusing the gaze on the origin of the project. The rear part redesigns the wide shell (for greater stability) protecting the heel and tendon, while the use of laces is essential to block the back of the foot: the laces still represent one of the most comfortable, effective and eco-compatible systems today. to ensure the efficiency of the shoe system. The logo is embossed on both components, while the absence of the tongue allows for material savings and guarantees the space required for the insertion of the sole. As for the choice of colors, the external shell has been designed in a light gray or white, while the midsole can vary in color, but they are always bright colors. In this way, while being internal, it is highlighted and the position of the side flaps, in addition to being functional to the joint, visually lightens the structure.