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Nike Collaborates with 10 Furniture Designers for a Motion-Inspired Installation in Milan

by Rick Anderson

Nike . The name likely conjures running shoes; toned, athletic bodies; or that signature swoosh. One thing that certainly doesn’t come to mind? Furniture. But maybe it should. This year for Milan Design Week, the venerable athleticwear brand has tapped ten of today’s most forward-thinking furniture and lighting designers for an installation inspired by the nature of motion. And the resulting works are as wide-ranging as the idea.

In a stark warehouse on Via Orobia 15, Nike devised an undulating white maze from thousands of stacked shoeboxes. Weaving through the path, you’ll come across wildly colorful drum sets devised by Martino Gamper, a shuddering chandelier by Lindsey Adelman, and a levitating hunk of granite by Max Lamb . Toward the end of the exhibition, you’ll encounter what you might have expected: shoes. One room presents a retrospective of “barefoot” running shoes, while another space-age area shows the shoes of the future, their experimental soles made of everything from smooth stones to hair rollers.

Didn’t make it to Milan? Take a tour of the buzzy exhibition here.

Tucked away in an ivy-covered warehouse on Via Orobia 15, Nike’s Milan Design Week exhibition—where ten designers were tapped to conceive works inspired by the nature of motion—is creating quite a buzz.

Dutch designer Bertjan Pot sheathed inner tubes from cars, trucks, and tractors with woven Nike shoelaces and belts to create a cast of vibrant poufs.

British designer Martino Gamper created a colorful drum set by stretching a Nike material called Flyknit over laminated plywood.

By pumping compressed air underneath a hunk of granite, the forever-innovative British designer Max Lamb created a system that allows the heavy rock to move with just the slightest touch.

Too warm? Take a seat in Greg Lynn’s microclimate chair. The American architect’s work uses integrated sensors to calculate the sitter’s body temperature and Peltier cooling modules or aluminum heat sinks to regulate it.

American lighting designer Lindsey Adelman devised two nature-inspired light fixtures that communicate with each other through a series of vibrations.

These towering cherry-red floor lamps created by Italian designers Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno employ diffusers made from Nike Flyknit.

Printed to resemble Umberto Boccioni’s 1913 painting Dynamism of a Soccer Player , this futuristic seat by British designer Sebastian Wrong comfortably sits six.

Swedish designer Clara von Zweigbergk and American Shane Schneck devised a wonky cast of candy-color cork-and-polyurethane stools that require focus in order to balance.

A retrospective of Nike footwear that has been designed to mimic running shoeless.

A selection of futuristic shoe designs.

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