Designing Shoes for People with CP
My name is Redd Smith. I am a final year Product Design student at the University of Leeds. I was born and raised in Bristol and after a year's experience as a Footwear Designer for Clarks Originals last year in Street, Somerset, I am returning to University to complete my final year project. Whilst at Clarks, I learnt a lot of valuable skills and knowledge about footwear and the footwear industry. About halfway through the year, I started to think about how people with Cerebral Palsy interact with shoes, laces and other fastening mechanisms. I felt that this final year project would be an amazing opportunity to explore this area in more detail and come up with an answer that will hopefully make a difference to peoples lives.
In order to create a design that will really make a difference and solve the current problems, I need to gather some information and generally speak to people with Cerebral Palsy to highlight what aspects of putting on and taking off shoes cause problems and to also hear feedback and opinions on my ideas throughout the project.
As you can probably tell, I'm extremely passionate about shoes and I think that everyone should be able to express themselves through whatever footwear they want, without being limited to certain choices due to how easy they are to put on/ take off. As well as making my project functional and practical, I want to make this a cool and stylish shoe, something that wouldn't look out of place in a New Balance or Asics store!
I have very limited knowledge on Cerebral Palsy and the problems that people encounter day-to-day. You don't need to have any knowledge of shoes or footwear at all in order to help me; it would just be great to hear from you.
If you would be willing to spare a small amount of time for us to either have a chat or assist me with my research, I would be extremely grateful
Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy