There are a ton of products on the market that prey on people who are “vertically challenged”. These are usually in the form of insoles or elevator shoes that make you taller. One popular brand of discrete height enhancers has this on their FAQ: “Studies have shown that taller men get the job…get more salary…get the girl…get more respect…get raises and promotions faster.”
Way back in 1997, Berlin-based artist Hans Hemmert threw a party of sorts, where all guests were given complimentary blue shoes made of styrofoam, rubber and velcro. When wearing the special shoes, everyone became uniformly just over 6-feet tall. This improved eye contact and conversations. (There is no mention of whether people who were naturally over 6 feet tall without the shoes were asked to leave or sit down or executed.)
I think this is all rather interesting. While I’d love to debunk such a generalization, it’s actually rather true. The full truth, however, is this: confidence is what’s responsible for the perks listed above, and since being tall is more respectable in our culture, taller people tend to have more confidence. In Hemmert’s Level project, there’s no shame in being short, so, consequently, there’s no need to hide the platforms. He focuses on a practical design solution to height discrepancy, minus the judgment.
Not for nothing, but if these were green styrofoam shoes, I’d be happy to romp around in them, and I’m sure I’d look fierce too. (And by fierce, I mean this.)
Click through for a few more fun design ideas from Hans Hemmert. Thank you Sweet-Station!