Meet The Freelance Origami Expert Who Invents Shoes For Nike

If this beautiful video portrait of shoe designer Mike Friton doesn’t inspire you to think outside the box, we don’t know what will.

"I think that’s when you become an innovator, when you realize there’s more than this small, little niche that you’re in." That’s Mike Friton, who designed Nike footwear for 30 years. Thanks to this profile by production house Cineastas, we get a look inside his workspace while Stoch muses on the importance of being inspired by materials and processes outside one’s normal purview.

As one of the founding members of Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, Friton is known for minimalistic designs. Apparently, he developed the Nike Free, and looking around his workspace in this clip—filled with strangely woven textiles and a loom—it seems more than plausible that Stoch’s work can be seen in the woven, sock-like Nike Flyknit, too.

Now, I won’t spoil every revelation from the video for you, but I will point out just two details worth catching: One, keep your eyes peeled for the most amazingly understated spinning-paper-folding-thing. Two, when Friton says the line, "Without innovation, I think we’d all become extinct," check his face and soak in his cadence—the guy really means it.

[Hat tip: Core77]

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  • Morgankrane

    Thanks for the article post, really cool video.

    Is this correct?
    "while Stoch muses on the importance of being inspired by materials and processes outside one’s normal purview"

    Shouldn't "Stouch" be "Friton"?  I'm not aware that Stouch is musing anything, he's the director.

    You should be aware that designers that read this site are inherently scrupulous and these typos are glaring blunders.  

  • Jon

    Did you actually watch the video? Tristan Stoch has nothing to do with Nike, he is the director of the video. The shoe designer's name is Mike Friton.

  • Cleoqkazoo

    So they "fixed" the article yet it still refers to "Stoch’s work" on the Nike Flynit. This is really embarrassing and I'm very disappointed.

  • Xyz

    Yeah, it is super depressing that a site like this, which I guess purports to be some kind of "journalistic" endeavor  could make a mistake like that. What a joke. Does anyone edit these "articles". You guys should be embarrassed for yourselves and take this as an opportunity to really think about what it is that you are adding to the world.