After a brief stint at the Camper summer workshop, Dutch designer Eric Hullegie completed a half-year internship with the company in Mallorca, where he dove deep into what truly sets his heart afire: process, process, process. "My focus is not on designing finished products or on mastering or applying known artisanal skills. Instead, I concentrate on ways of production," he tells Co.Design of the vacuum-molded collection he created.
The Shoefactory Revised: Vacuum series represents an evolution of that ideology, as Hullegie set out to establish a new aesthetic by experimenting with novel fabrication strategies and base materials. In terms of form, it was important to keep his creations close to what we’re already able to recognize as footwear. "The styles I chose are translations of known typologies because it’s easy to lose the essence of what a shoe is when concentrating on new methods of making." Streamlining the system meant eliminating some of the more "traditional" steps—even those essential to ensuring the functionality of the items. "I was extremely motived to breach existing conventions in the industry and take things a step further," Hullegie says.
The soft, simple color scheme and gently saturated gradients were chosen to "show the essence" of the vacuum-molding, he says. So, after all that research, how did he end up doing it all? Well, Hullegie’s keeping the technical info on those particulars a trade secret.
[All photography by Sanne Zurne and Yoram Tomasowa]