Designers, such as award-winning Icelandic artist Sruli Recht, are starting to wrestle with how to adapt to this new world. In his latest project, Recht considers what footwear might look like in the near future. “Damage: Shoes for a Post Traumatic Future,” includes three pairs of striking footwear that implore us to imagine a future wading through catastrophic floods or suffering through intense heat. The shoes are not designed to be manufactured, but rather to be sold as works of art on NFT marketplaces.
The project was inspired by the question of how shoes can go beyond fashion to become functional objects. Before throwing himself into the design process, Recht studied the history of footwear, from the first shoes made in 8000 BCE, including grass netting covered with deer or bear skin, all the way to the industrial revolution when people spent more time indoors, and shoes could become aesthetic objects. Recht believes that we have entered a new age in which our shoes will have to help us navigate the increasingly treacherous climate on our planet.