Karim Rashid, along with fabrication and installation specialists Eventscape, has created ‘Out of the Box: the Rise of Sneaker Culture’, exhibited at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto – home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of shoes and footwear-related artifacts. The gallery documents the history of the sneaker from the late 1800’s to today.
The main challenge was to engineer a system that would meet all the rigorous museum-grade structural requirements of security, accessibility and durability, without sacrificing the clean, flowing aesthetic of the design. To showcase the prized possessions, there are 32 translucent pedestals, a 40 foot long display case, an acrylic entrance screen, five integrated inset wall displays, and seamless printed graphics throughout.
The lower portion of each stand has been constructed out of heat-formed, impact-resistant PET-G co-polyester sheets. With no visible internal structure – they still provide the high level of protection required for the limited edition objects. A printed motif was carefully applied to the interior of each base to create a custom gradient fade pattern from white to transparent, giving the illusion that the shoes hover effortlessly within the light, airy tubes.
The innovation and design-area highlights four, top Nike designers with large scale print graphics of their original concept sketches. The wall’s system lets it elegantly span over 40′ with minimal vertical supports. Facing this are pre-fabricated, millwork assemblies with integrated translucent display shelves and fibre optic lighting. The fabrication of each component was completed in-house, and assembled on-site in order to accommodate the limited 10 day installation time. The exhibition opened in mid-April for a year long display of these rare, iconic and limited edition pieces.