Co.Design

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]