Interview with designer Florian Seidl (FS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Kateem Trail Running Shoe.

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Interview with Florian Seidl at Wednesday 20th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
FS : I guess the main idea lies in the creation of a running shoe with a flexible and protective exoskeleton made from semi-rigid 3D textile panels.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
FS : It was very important for me to creat a good looking and special design for a trail running shoe that combines an adequate formal expression with exceptional ergonomics.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
FS : There are currently no specific plans to develop Kateem further.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
FS : Kateem was developed and refined step by step on long evenings and during weekends. This lengthy process was finished in 2015 in Turin, Italy.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
FS : It was a self motivated "just-for-fun" project.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
FS : Kateem is currently only a private free time project. It would be nice to see what could be done though...

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
FS : I really like modern footwear design. I have seen many inspitrational and really cool projects and wanted to see what I could do.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
FS : There are many different influences, but not one in particular.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
FS : I'd imagined the target customer profile as male, between 15 and 40 years old. He'd be living in Europe or North America, has an active lifestyle and a well developed brand awareness. He is thirsty for adventure, enjoys sport in general and loves running.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
FS : Its's orange. :)

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
FS : It's a word play on letters, pronunciation and form language.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
FS : The design process involved everything from analog and digital sketching to rough volumetric foam models and also a proper clay modeling phase.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
FS : New manufacturing technologies and materials are very important for this concept. The design does however build also on well-established and proven footwear technology to create an innovative product with exceptional performance.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
FS : I got some very valuable feedback from colleagues and friends. Not much else.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
FS : The project combines proven know-how and new materials and technology. The traditional lacing system and overall construction is combined with new elements like the carbon fiber toe cap, the stretchy exoskeleton (made from woven 3D textile mesh panels) and the custom 3D printed insole that guarantees a perfect fit for every individual foot and every runner.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
FS : The concept is based on personal research analysing the market segment, the main competitors, the target group and relevant trends. Special focus was also put on ergonomics/anthropometrics and current and future materials and production techniques in the field of sneaker and sport shoe design. This research is mainly based on articles, literature review and interviews with experts. The findings were then transformed and translated in a tangible real world clay model and then refined in an extended formal research phase.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
FS : The main challenge for a project that is so closely related to the human body is the right balance between ergonomic and functional requirements and the desired formal expression.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
FS : Friends ahve participated before and I wanted to give it a go.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
FS : I learned a lot about current sneaker design and also found out that casting a last from a real foot can be rather tricky/dangerous.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
FS : That's all.