Moving Parts:
Design for a Complex World

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Sneaker-Making with Upcycled Materials: The Exhibition

 Our Workshop series: Sneaker-Making is an example of how we can contribute to a Circular Economy. By learning how to construct we are also learning how to fix and therefore have the ability to extend the life of a product. By using scrap materials we are diverting waste from landfills and giving them a new purposeful life. 

 Explore sneakers designed by our community, supported by TD Bank, and facilitated by @nelsonsilvashoes @eske and members of the @regentparksewingstudio using upcycled materials. 

 The aim of this exhibition is to showcase our participant's sneaker prototypes from our Workshop Series where we explore design thinking, material exploration, and fabrication. Highlighting skill and knowledge sharing, our workshop series focuses on prototyping, circularity, and the future ability to repair and construct at home with Upcycled Materials. 

 The future is circular and it can start with a pair of sneakers. 

"The entire design process taught me re-evaluate my relationship with fast fashion. The level of skill, practice, and patience required to make a single pair of pair of shoes added a new dimension to my already existing love for sneakers." 

"For me, the most exciting step of the process was when we started attaching everything together: at this stage, you could start to see everyone’s vision come to life and the different personalities reflected back in their sneakers,"

"I learned that design is not a linear process and it requires many iterations, and sometimes what you think you're going to do isn't exactly what you end up with as a final product."

Accessibility throughout the design process

Designing for accessibility means designing for everyone. Nelson Silva is a footwear designer based in Toronto with a background in Industrial Design and the hands-on sensitivity of a shoemaker. He merges small and large scale problem solving to tackle broader issues around sustainability and new ways of thinking about footwear. With over 20 years of professional experience, he has worked across athletic footwear design, handmade shoe-making for film/theatre, operating his own small-batch vegan footwear studio, advanced pattern-making, high concept footwear, and is currently the design manager for footwear at Canadian Tire. 

 Nelson developed a new shoe making process that enables people to construct their own shoes at home using minimal tools and materials. Removing the need for expensive tools and hard to reach knowledge, Nelson designed a new process that lends to community building through knowledge and skill sharing. Beyond designing products we must also redesign systems and processes for positive social change. 


July 28 – August 4, 2022

Window Installation

The aim of this exhibition is to showcase a circular design model which positively contributes to the global goals for the climate crisis, and works to disrupt the linear take-make-dispose economic model currently in place. The circular economy is an industrial system which is restorative or regenerative by design, reuses natural resources as efficiently as possible, and finds value through products’ life cycles. The success of the circular economy will depend on the adoption of a completely new approach to the way products are designed, produced, and consumed. 

This exhibition serves to share the ideas of first year OCAD University industrial design students on Circular Design, for us all to imagine how we can solve the problem together. 

Faculty Supervisors: Bernhard Dietz, Ranee Lee, Reza Mortezaei, Kaija Vogel
Research Assistant: Deanna Badi