I chose to study Product Design after spending quite some time researching and reflecting on my abilities, interests, and vision for the future. While studying at UL, I have realised what design means to me and where I want to with it go after graduation. I’m someone who is driven to solve problems and I relish the opportunity to go deep into the underlying factors of a given topic to make the most well-informed design decisions. I am keenly interested in environmental and sustainable design and in 2019 I spent a semester in Delft (Netherlands) to complete a minor in Sustainable Design. I’m also extremely passionate about sports apparel design, as I have spent over 10 years competing internationally in triathlons and running at elite level. My observation of the impact that poorly considered footwear has on our gait, posture, and well-being drove me to explore a better design solution.
Orira is a running shoe that has been designed to reap the benefits of barefoot running while considering the modern running environment. Running barefoot in nature provides the necessary stimulus to develop strength, stability, and efficiency. The removal of this natural stimulus, coupled with sub-optimal shoe design means that our bodies have suffered the consequences.
However, running barefoot with an unconditioned foot can create more problems than it solves. Understanding the realities of the modern environment, which is primarily its flatness and hardness, Orira is a solution that stimulates the body to reap the benefits of running as nature intended, without having to seek out nature. It also provides the unconditioned foot, and associated running muscles, protection and support as the user makes the footwear transition.
Orira is designed specifically as a ‘training tool’ on predictable surfaces (e.g. paths and roads) and is designed to complement race shoes in the athlete’s toolkit.