DIY Shoe-Making

Shoemaker DIY

The recent enthusiasm of the Maker Movement – tinkerers, craftspeople and cottage industrialists – has made DIY a prevalent, profitable enterprise. Further, advances in technology (e.g. 3-D printers by MakerBot) have eliminated barriers to the business boom in the basement. Even shoe-making is ripe for reinvention.

Sarah Eldershaw, a Toronto shoe-maker, developed a mail-order kit for DIY footwear.  Her “Shoe String Assemblies” are available online.  Each pack contains a needle and thread, a rubber sole, a pair of laces, instructions and a handful of leather bits. The hide (all vegetable tanned to avoid toxins) is pre-punched to make stitching easier. Unlike most shoemaking, there’s no glue involved (not even in the shipping packs, which are held together with the laces), and the design doesn’t require a last, the form required to mold most footwear.

Eldershaw’s invention, which she calls “Moxfords”, was a graduation project from OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University).  It was also a winner at the competition sponsored by Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario. Judges were impressed that Eldershaw wore her prototypes throughout the 12-hour event.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/design/introducing-footwear-for-the-diy-crowd/article18778150/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maker_movement

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Urban Nomads Follow the Cloud

Today’s technology has spawned cyber-nomads. Like ancient nomads, they are mobile, social, tribal, and seek oases to supply what they cannot carry. Unlike the ancients, the moderns are in step with the future, not the past.

 Are you an urban nomad? Do you recognize yourself or others through these questions?

Do you work or study in a non-traditional Wi-Fi setting?

  • Bookstore
  • Café
  • Communal office
  • Distance / on-line education programs
  • Home office
  • Library
  • Shared desk

 How do you manage your social relations?

  • Seek places where other people are present
  • Maintain psychological distance from those present
  • Connect with colleagues, friends or family through brief messages
  • Check often for responses
  • Use various social media and technology to communicate (text, instant message, email, voice, photo, video)

 As you work or study, do you value?

  • Ad hoc decisions
  • Autonomy
  • Independence
  • Flexibility
  • Freedom
  • Instant communication
  • Light loads
  • Mobility
  • Multi-tasking
  • Staying connected
  • Virtual experiences

 “As in the desert, so in the city: nomadism promises the heaven of new freedom, but it also threatens the hell of constant surveillance by the tribe.”

 The Economist Magazine’s “special report on mobility” (April 12, 2008) needs updating.  It claims that “the underlying technologies of genuine and everyday nomadism did not exist even as recently as a decade ago”. Five or six years on, we have even smarter phones, more multi-purpose tablets and advancing Cloud technology.  Where will the future take us? And how will we move through life?  

http://www.economist.com/node/10950394

http://www.economist.com/node/11016402