Reinventing Women’s Shoes, With High-Tech Tools

Shoe 10

Marloes ten Bhömer is just 26, but she’s been reinventing shoes her entire life. As a child, she started off by dismantling her mother’s shoes, coating them in papier-mache and producing entirely new, exaggerated forms. Today, she’s still doing the same thing, in carbon fiber and leather. She’s particularly well-known for the latter, using a “lather mache” technique to create wildly layered, architectural shapes. She even uses laser sintering–a rapid prototyping technology that builds forms using powdered plastic. A laser passes over the materials, fusing it in shapes that are impossible to render in any other way. Above is a shoe Design fiends have noticed–this year ten Bhömer was a nominee in the prestigious British Insurance 2009 Design Awards. You can see the shoes above–molded from rubber right in the gallery, on the industrial assembly line you see below–through May 31, as the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.

Shoes 12

Shoes 13