Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks

Exhibition Website

Mar 30 2024 - Aug 11 2024

“The future is always being shaped by the present. ... From sneakers created to address issues related to sustainability and inclusion to shoes that blur the line between the real world and the metaverse, this exhibition explores how forward-looking creators are helping us step into the future.” — Elizabeth Semmelhack, Director and Senior Curator, Bata Shoe Museum

In partnership with the Bata Shoe Museum in Canada, Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks is a groundbreaking new exhibition that features nearly 60 futuristic footwear designs pushing the boundaries of what footwear can be.

Featuring an incredible mix of fashion, design, gaming, new media, architecture, and material arts as well as sustainable and collaborative practices, the exhibition features work by designers as diverse as Rem D. Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid, innovators Mr. Bailey and Salehe Bembury, as well as designs made in collaboration with fashion icons Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, and Yohji Yamamoto, and top gaming and innovation companies such as PlayStation, Gravity Sketch, and more.

Future Now features sections exploring Innovation, Sustainability, Transformative, and Virtual shoes, and include digitally designed and 3D-printed shoes, sneakers made from mushroom leather and reclaimed ocean plastics, and footwear created for the metaverse. The ahead-of-its-time Nike Mag, conceived for Back to the Future Part II by Portland’s own Tinker Hatfield, will also be on display, as well as recent innovators MSCHF’s Big Red Boots and EKTO VR’s One Robotic Boots.

Featuring mold-breaking exhibition design, this show is an incredible opportunity to set foot into a world of cutting edge thinking around new artistic practices and technology that are revolutionizing our tomorrow.

Unique to Portland Art Museum’s presentation of the exhibition is a collaboration with Doernbecher Freestyle, celebrating its 20th year of partnership between OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and NIKE, Inc. This partnership pairs Doernbecher patient-designers with NIKE, Inc. product creation employees to create footwear that brings each patient’s vision and story to life – with 100% of the profits from retail sales donated to the children’s hospital.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Image credit:   Mr. Bailey, Octopus shoe, 2018, Collection of Mr. Bailey. Courtesy American Federation of Arts and the Bata Shoe Museum.

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