About projects for students

I have currently been working on my footwear design, shooting for a summer internship. I have seen projects from the pros pointing out different materials and technology on their designs. When applying for these internships is it expected that I know this information? If so where do I learn? If not, then what are they looking for?

Don’t worry if you don’t know everything…thats what the internship is for, to help you get your foot in the door and learn. That being said, its very competitive out there so you’ll want to do your best to show whatever knowledge you have and to communicate your ideas in a unique and exciting way. A lot of people sketch shoes out there… try to think more about designing a shoe. If you are showing footwear projects in your folio, have them show that you can think about them using a design process. Show an understanding of the type of person you are designing for and try to have a well thought out story for the project. Also, try to show you have thought about how your design might be constructed (or at least think about pieces of materials or parts that would go into it.) Designers always like to see when projects are well integrated and the “form meets the function” if you will.

Well there you have it…the golden formula to get you any internship!

If anything, I think not knowing anything is awesome… knowing too much can hold a lot of creative people back. Instead, investigate on your own, take things apart, design them how you think they should/could be made, instead of how they are currently done. A lot of shoe constructions date back a couple hundred years… a lot has changed… things like Crocs take advantage of what would have been too expensive to mold 10 years ago and ignore centuries of “shoe making” craft…

So, have fun! Explore! Go crazy.

I would suggest just digging around online. Start by looking up terminology and move on to materials and construction techniques. Go to a shoe store and look closely at how things are put together. Start studying the sport you are focusing on and what those athletes need. Meet with shoe designers, ask coaches, athletes, and shoe store employees (preferably not at discount stores). As you compound knowledge the options increase exponentially. There’s really no wrong way to build a shoe as long as it fulfills the needs of the consumer and causes no harm.

For a school project try doing something thats more progressive and maybe a more commercial concept to show that you can run the gamut. Now is one of the few times you can do whatever you want so push your limits.

I just noticed that there’s a post with links under soft goods for terminology and how shoes are made thats a perfect place to start.