NIKE Air Abuku: The Shoe That Keeps Life Going
Challenge the functions of normal everyday objects with this sweet design.
NIKE is undoubtedly a household brand name. It is known to everyone around the world, if for a variety of different reasons. It is known as a great designer of shoes, a creator of great commercials, and one of the biggest sponsors of NBA superstars. NIKE has consistently re-defined and discovered new methods to increase and improve performance. This is precisely the reason why Paul Jenkins decided to create an initiative called NIKE78.
NIKE78 is a project that challenges creatives and designers to redefine what a pair of NIKE shoes can do. Each designer was given a new pair of NIKE shoes to work with, and Nike Air Abuku is a result that spawned from NIKE78. Abuku means ‘bubble’ in Japanese, which suits the art piece very well. Abuku is a NIKE-shoe shaped aquarium that houses goldfishes. This creates a very organic effect, especially by comparing such an ordinary everyday shape with such a bizarre, unique function. I initially thought that the shoes could be worn, but I guess the logistics of layering as well as friction could potentially break the shoe’s shell.
The video from the artist might give you some insight as to how meticulous and detailed the process was. As the team was given a pair of Nike Air Max 360s, they decided to take this to the next level and fuse it with water to create Abuku. They created a mould for the transparent shoe body, and mounted the body on the sole of the shoe. The definitive highlight of this video was the success when they scoop the pair of goldfish into the shoe, and the fish actually keep swimming. The music is uplifting and the designers’ reactions and excitement are unbelievably authentic and rewarding.
The video takes you through the whole process, including even the photo shoot, which was a lot less complicated than I thought it would be. All they did was mount the shoe on a piece of black material, and take the photo through there! I still love how wonderfully simplistic the idea is and yet how the end result is so beautiful.