Done in collaboration with Mark Smith, vice president of Innovation Special Projects, and his team in Nike's Innovation Kitchen, the Nike Maker Experience opened recently at the Nike By You Studio in New York. It merges digital design with traditional footwear making, giving guests the chance to design and take home a one-of-a-kind sneaker, all in just over an hour.
The experience begins with a series of graphic options, generated from either Nike heritage or on-the-spot phrases, which can then be customized into patterns through shifts to size and color.
“The intention of the project is to bring to life the collaborative design experience that we offer our athletes,” said Smith on the Nike website. “They love products that tell their story, so we wanted to combine that idea with a new process of live design and manufacturing that allows our guests to come into the space, work collaboratively with us and leave with a special product in less time than ever before.”
The invite-only experience will initially be limited to Nike friends and family and select Nike+ members. The experience promises to be a “super-charged augmented reality experience that uses your shoes as the visual ‘device’,” according to a release.
The shoe is the Nike Presto X, a silhouette specially created for the Nike Maker Experience and comes in two versions, a traditional Presto version and a slip-on – the slip-on being only available through the Nike Maker Experience.
On arrival, the guest dons the blank slip-on version and steps into the Live Design Arena. The Live Design Arena uses dynamic object tracking and projection systems to project onto the guest’s Presto X’s, and whether they move or stay static, their design comes to life before their eyes and on their feet. Less than an hour later they walk out the door with their new, one-of-a-kind Presto X. Live Design was created by W+K Lodge, a key partner to Smith and his team throughout the creation of the Nike Maker’s Experience.
“The Nike Maker Experience is a fast, fun, interactive, one-of-a-kind design experience. It takes most people longer to come up with their idea than it does for us to make it,” added Smith. "In our minds, this is tomorrow, today."