The third time is indeed the charm for Daniel Arsham and adidas. Last week, the duo released the final installment of their Past, Present, Future: the adidas FUTURECRAFT 4D in “Aero Green.” For the launch, the tandem held a scavenger hunt where winners earned a seat at the screening of Arsham’s Hourglass Part III: Future short film. The premiere space was outfitted with snacks and creatives essentials, all sporting Arsham Studio branding.
Following the premiere, the man of the hourglass stood back to answer questions from the audience and also give us a moment of his time to talk shop. Read our short chat with Daniel Arsham below, with our exclusive photos of the event space above.
How does this sneaker relate to your Future Relic series?
When I approached this FUTURECRAFT sneaker, I was thinking more about the tools and materials that we use within the studio. The outfits we wear and the equipment that is related to the production of artwork. In the past, I’ve asked designers like Ronnie Fieg and Samuel Ross to design lab coats and other apparel for use within the studio and I treated the design of these 4D sneakers much like that.
The tonality of the shoe is based on the green color that is used in the branding of the studio. This color is derived from many of the works that I was making, which use crushed, broken glass that becomes green — if you look at the edge of a sheet of glass, and you’re staring across it, you can see this greenish color. This comes from iron impurities in the actual glass, but if you look at the glass straight on it is completely clear.
I like the idea that the change in perspective between your viewpoint alters what the thing looks like.
Can you talk about working with adidas on this design?
Working with the adidas design team, we went back and forth on a number of iterations, slowly honing and simplifying the design. My studio made a large contribution in the design of the packaging, socks and gloves as well as the sealing of the actual box.
What were you hoping fans took away from the scavenger hunt?
I think the scavenger hunt was interesting. When we did the screening of the film, which I produced for this project, it’s often that some of these events end up only being VIP influencers and people that I either know or adidas knows, and we wanted to open that up to the audience out in the public. We thought about how we could bring the audience to the screening through this type of game.
What are your thoughts on 4D printing becoming the future of sneaker designs?
I think that this 4D technology is very interesting for adidas, and other companies, in the possibility for saving on shipping. There’s a large carbon footprint associated with shipping materials, and I think the end goal of this will be to actually manufacture sneakers and other products in the location where you buy them.
Do you use similar methods in your own work?
I’ve used technology in the service of my work when it suits, but very seldom have I used it in the actual production of the artwork. We use programs in the studio — modeling and other architectural programs — to visualize exhibitions and generate renderings of potential artworks. The computers are never used in the actual production, all of that is done by hand using methods that date back thousands of years. Simple moulding and casting techniques.
Now that the Past, Present, Future series with adidas is complete, what’s next for you and the Three Stripes?
I’ve been thinking more about the fabrication and construction of sneakers and other products related to my art practice, more as sculpture. You may have seen on my Instagram over the past couple of weeks, these sculptures that look kind of like sneakers. As I move forward with my collaboration with adidas, we will explore how the ways in which I think about materials and production in the studio can influence our design practices for future sneakers.