Footwear Design for ID course

Hi All,

As some of you know (and some of you might be in my class!), I’m teaching a 4th year minor projects course this fall at Carleton University School of Industrial Design on Footwear Design for ID.

There is a blog for the course here if you wish to follow it along.

I don’t plan on posting the content of all of the lectures, though will be posting outlines for the projects and perhaps some reference samples relating to the projects. There will also be blog posted sketch exercises almost every thursday, so feel free to follow along at home, and if you like post your work here (think of it as an unofficial 1HDC).

I’ve also encouraged the students to post stuff up here on the core footwear forum so if you see lots of new members posting work, please welcome them and continue to share the wealth of feedback that we all enjoy so much.

First class kicked off yesterday with an intro to footwear design and an intensive 4+ hour sketch session learning to get proportions and silhouettes right as a base for footwear design. Good job by all and I look forward to sharing this exciting field of ID with a new group of potential footwear designers.



Nice, will follow this for sure!

Just out of curiosity, how many students do you have? I’m recently out of school and loved the fact in my last two years, our program cut the kids down to 16 total. Wondering how other programs work and if you have a small and tight class size?

Big ups, Richard!

Class has 27. A pretty average (for Carleton) and manageable size. It’s structured as a 2 hour lecture and 4 hours studio time so plenty of time for 1-one-one time + feedback via 6 hour reviews for each project (about 10min per person presentation/feedback) + support via the blog.


Yeah, sounds like it will be a fun course for sure.
Good luck on the new teaching adventure!

render demo from last. did one quick SBP sketch to render over with Illustrator and PS. Live demo took about 1.5hrs walking through entire process from lineart to render and texturing.

Just a generic athletic design.


If only something like this were at or near my school…

great stuff R

!!awgh!! wish I was there. I moved to Ottawa from Halifax this summer so I could hopefully attend Carleton. I didn’t even know this profession existed until I was out of high school. Is time travel possible yet?

Congrats Richard.

You should teach this at OCAD. :frowning:

Hey All,

This course is back for Carleton School of Industrial Design, Fall 2011. Working on course materials now.

If anyone who has taken the course or taken a look at the course materials from last time (link below) has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Already, I’ve adjusted the course based on comments from past students. A few changes in the works (yet to be finalized) -

  1. less workload, students were a bit swamped.
  2. more in-depth sketching and rendering tutorials
  3. additional general focus on professionalism, best practices for presentations, file management, communication, etc.
  4. additional links to tutorial and other resources provided
  5. some way to get more one-on-one feedback, either in studio or via skype
  6. encouraging/requiring post-up in studio of projects/progress to develop self-critique and keeping on track

    Thinking of perhaps even requiring/encouraging posting projects here to core for additional comments and support.



Can you get any industry involvement or sponsorship? I think that might go down well, especially if you could tie it in with a tour of their offices for instance. Is there anywhere local to you that would do it?

When I did my footwear course, almost all of our projects were sponsored, ok, back then, we still had quite a bit of local industry so one project was to design the footwear then go to the sample room of the factory and work with the sample room staff to get your prototype made.

But we also did a sneaker project with Puma, kids shoe with Clarks, canvas vulcanised with a supplier in London, amongst others.

I tried last time to bring in a guest speaker but it didn’t work logistically or budget wise.

It would be great to have some sponsored projects, and I of course know a bunch of people at various brands, but again I think it would be difficult budget and time wise. Most projects are pretty short and there isn’t really $ to fly people in, and being in Ottawa there isn’t any brands close by, and anyone coming from Boston (probably closest concentration of brands) needs to normally fly though Toronto so it makes it impossible to do it there and back in a day.

Something to think about though and a good suggestion. I’ll maybe do some digging and see if I can figure something out.

In the end though, they really are getting industry involvement with my experience, so I’m not to worried about them being out of touch with the real world. In fact, I think I’m probably harder on them and more “realistic” than an outsider might be.

It’s also a pretty short course (12 weeks) and they are coming into it with no footwear experience so by the time they get up to speed near the final project there isn’t much time left to do anything that would at industry level. That said, the final projects I got last year were really great and considering where they started I think lots of the student could have a better shot at getting an industry job then a lot of people I’ve interviewed in the past who only had self-taught skills.