After this week’s news that someone paid $93K for a pair of Nike sneakers “designed” by Kanye West, I needed to replace “gross” with “growth”. Enter Japanese shoe designer Masaya Kushino. Kushino grew up on a small island, exploring nature and playing with toys that her grandfather created.
Her Reborn Shoes explore the relationship between footwear and flora. It’s a cycle of growth and rebirth that echoes nature itself.
After the Reborn Shoe is burned, new sprouts form and the lifecycle begins again. Lovely!
Kushino recently collaborated with Sputniko! to develop “Healing Fukushima (Nanohana Heels),” a pair of shoes that automatically plant seeds in the soil through mechanical high-heels as the wearer walks. The collaborators are using rapeseeds for the project as scientists have shown that rapeseed blossoms absorb radioactive substances. The Healing Fukushima (Nanohana Heels) are a direct response to last March’s nuclear power plant disaster in Japan. They hope to use the shoes as a catalyst for de-contaminating the affected land and converting the output of Fukushima agriculture for use in energy supply.
See more of Kushino’s amazing shoe designs at the (equally amazing) Virtual Shoe Museum. Check out her autumn-winter 2012-2013 shoe collection here. Click through for two videos showing the Reborn Shoes and Healing Fukushima Heels in motion.