Israel and Amsterdam – The Pixel Shoe project by Israeli designer Tidhar Zagagi harnesses the versatility of polyurethane (PU) foam to create custom-made footwear moulded in the shape of the wearer’s foot, reconfiguring the typical relationship between customer and manufacturer.
Using the portability of 3D printing technology, Zagagi built a mobile wooden cart that allowed him to travel across Israel producing personalised shoes in a matter of minutes, and is now displaying his concept to Dutch Design Week. A self-described ‘one-man-factory’, Zagagi allows his clients to customise the design and fit of their shoes according to personal preferences and foot shape.
By embracing a low-tech approach, Zagagi can create one-of-a-kind products in high volumes at affordable prices, envisaging a future where mass production is replaced by mass customisation – and pioneered by independent, unbranded designers. It points to an interesting future for those operating in the Sneaker Hub Market, as sneakerheads navigate their relationship with conglomerates.
Not all brands can operate one-man factories, but they can take note of Zagagi's versatile approach to customisation and create in-store workshops that allows footwear to be manufactured to customers' exact preferences