2019 Footwear Design Summit Agenda

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)  //  Reeves Great Hall  //  200 W 28th St  //  New York, NY

Draft Agenda

(updated 9/17/19)

8:30 am — Registration, Breakfast, Networking, Exhibits

9:15 am — Welcome and Summit Opening

9:30 am — KEYNOTE: Pete Lankford on Footwear Design: Sustainability Principles and Practices

10:00 am  — Understanding Tariffs From a Design Perspective and How They May Unintentionally Lead To More Sustainable Designs

As the trade war between the United States and China progresses, Chinese manufacturers are becoming more creative in finding ways to evade the tariffs. For instance, by creating modular footwear that is shipped in parts, sometimes even including machinery to assemble those parts locally. At the same time, designers are looking for information on how they can design around duties as well as for ways to create footwear that can be made locally and can be recycled more easily. A customs expert and brands that design and assemble modular footwear in the USA will share experiences and compare notes.


11:00 am — The Digital Design Revolution Will Have To Be Organized

Technology is generally not the biggest hurdle in transitioning to a design workflow that is digital end-to-end and (therefore) more sustainable. Instead, the organizational structure and current division of tasks are often the bottlenecks for successful implementation of new design technologies. A panel of several designers and design directors will talk about how they re-organized their design process when they started using digital design technologies, how this benefited them, what the main pitfalls were and what they would still like to improve in the future. Tech firms will also share best practices

12:00 pm — Will The Designer of the Future Have To Be a Computer Wizard?

An unexpected outlook on the future of design by Nicoline van Enter of The Footwearists. She will explain how she sees the role(s) of footwear designers evolve in the next ten years, how schools should start training the right people now and how companies should prepare for these new roles.

12:45 pm — LUNCH BREAK

1:30 pm — Case Study: How The Factory Can Be The Best Design Studio

Several designers and brands talk about how they apply design for manufacturing in order to get to shoes that are more sustainable, more original AND more commercial. During this section of the conference we will discuss manufacturing techniques as well as show examples of how to effectively design for local digital manufacturing.

2:15 pm — Calculating The Trends For Next Season… A New Way Forward For Designers

Designers have always used some kind of trend forecasting, even before the industrial revolution, but will we also still need it after the digital revolution? Or will we just derive our information from algorithms on social media? Several experts will talk about how they see the future of trend forecasting, which external and internal sources of information will be used and how designers could create and apply trend forecasts using big data.

3:00 pm — Making Dollars and Sense of New Sustainable Materials

Raw materials and development processes are undergoing a renaissance. This panel of experts discuss some recent trends with an eye on sustainability and execution. Helping designers better understand how they can find, understand and incorporate new innovative materials in their designs.


3:45 pm — Future Design: How To Materialize Big Data Into Footwear Design

It is not often that someone gets a PhD in a subject related to the future of footwear design. In our previous Design Summit we gave a sneak preview of Troy Nachtigalls PhD research into creating a fully generative system to design footwear, including a sophisticated subscription-based business model. This time, he will have just finished his PhD and will come to present his findings in person. Again, you will find that the biggest hurdles in implementing such a system might not be technological… in this case it looks like the next design revolution will first have to be legalized… 😉

4:15 pm — Gaming Design: Making Money From Non-Existing Shoes

In this final section of the day we look at a design development that is still in its infancy but is expected to grow rapidly: virtual fashion. A small panel of experts and visionaries will talk about how companies could make money with shoes that (initially) only exist in the digital world, for instance by selling them in online games.

5:00 pm — CLOSING

Thanks to our Great Sponsors!

Please contact apolk@fdra.org if you are interested in sponsoring this event.