Create the Shoe of you Dreams – Participate in the CEC Shoe Design Contest

Open Innovation and crowdsourcing finally is arriving in the footwear industry

CecshoedesigncontestCrowdsourced logos were yesterday, now it is all about shoes. The CEC project is a large European research project dedicated to nothing smaller than reinventing the footwear industry. My old research group at TUM is a major partner in the project, and as part of the work, they are now running the first European Consumer Shoe Design Contest where everyone can become a shoe designer.

Your task is to design a shoe model along a theme called “Original Origin”. This category of aesthetic trends expresses cultural values, regional roots and techniques and at the same time uses authentic materials and innovative shapes. The contest asks everyone to play with the theme and interpret it in the most creative, but still feasible way.

More details on the contest can be found in the CEC Contest briefing which also has the exact rules of the design contest.

Submissions are evaluated by a top-class jury consisting of international shoe and design experts from companies like Hugo Boss, CallagHan, Liitto, Future Concept Lab, and Frau. The jury’s criteria for the assessment will be design, innovativeness, feasibility, task alignment, and an overall score for excellence. In addition, also the public can vote on their favorite design and nominate a public winner.

Awards are a bit technical but provide a nice opportunity for everyone interested in footwear:

The first price is a site visit with Hugo Boss in Morrovalle/Italy to get a prototype of your design as well as to gain insight into prototyping process.

The second price is a real working prototype of your design, manufactured according to your design and mailed to you

The third price is a free participation at the “Future Vision Workshops” dedicated to the aesthetic trends in Milan (also, winners of the first and second price are invited to participate).

How to participate:

Register on and enter the “Design Studio” to upload your design. All what you have to do is to provide a sketch or rendering of your design (and a short description). All further information can be found in the design briefing.

Submissions are accepted until December 31st, 2007. Winners will be announced on February 29th, 2008.

Now, start designing!

A personal comment at the end:
The footwear industry is an extremely conservative industry far behind many other industries with regard to open innovation and customer driven value creation. So it is a real revolution that they now start such a competition. I am curious to see how this contest may change their attitude and expectations – and if the wining design ever will be produced. However, the rather long contest rules and the not too fancy prices already show how difficult it is to get their commitment. But it is a great start – and hopefully more initiatives like this will follow!)

Context information:

– The contest web site:
– Earlier post on the CEC-made Shoe Research Project
– Similar ongoing competition (open source footwear)

By | 2018-06-14T12:56:50+00:00 November 13th, 2007|Co-creation, Crowdsourcing, Footwear, Open/User Innovation, Sneaker|

About the Author:

Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His recent analysis of the crowdsourcing business model “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.