Open Innovation and crowdsourcing finally is arriving in the footwear industry
Crowdsourced 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 cec-designcontest.net 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!)