Innovation = Design

July 20th, 2008 by Larry


photos by Ted Ullrich

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Beijing. It was impossible to deny the city’s excitement for hosting this summer’s Olympics games. This media guide was given to people who attended the Nike 706 exhibit inside China’s up and coming arts district recently. The book, called Nike 100 details 100 of the most innovative moments in Nike’s history as a result of obsessive design and pursuit of perfection. As I read through the book, I recalled some of my favorite moments in sports history including Michael Johnson’s gold shoes at the ATL Olympics in ’96 and Michael Jordan winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in his Air Jordan III’s.

At the end of the day it’s all about reducing drag, reducing weight, and creating the lightest aerodynamics possible. Nike was founded by Phil Knight and his track coach at the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman. Bowerman was obsessed with making footwear lighter and hand-stitched sneakers for his team before they were able to mass produce anything. It’s worth it to check out nikelab.com as it drives home Bowerman’s ethos.

I’ve spent countless hours on nikelab.com watching designer’s video explanations behind the products they’ve made. I even went out to try on the Lunar Racer this weekend. It’s really lightweight and feels like you’re walking on the moon. It’s crazy how they do it.

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