United Nude is already known for their innovative shoes, but they are pushing new limits with 3D printing technology for Milan Design Week. The designers have teamed up with 3D systems to challenge the traditional shoe, using 3D technology to view shoes as sculpture. The incredible partnership will produce five pairs of shoes that will be available to the public, designed by world renowned architects and designers including Zaha Hadid, Ross Lovegrove, Fernando Romero, Michael Young and Ben van Berkel.

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Each of the incredible shoes fuses art, design and technology to explore the boundaries of wearable 3D design, while giving designers the freedom of fre form sculpting. Each design will be 3D printed using laser sintering, and made from durable hardened nylon and soft rubber, which United Nude already uses in their line. The shoes will be available in a limited edition of only 50 of each design.

Making their appropriate debut at Milan Design Week, each pair of shoes doubles as a 3D printed sculpture, looking almost unwearable at first glance. But each pair has a classic high heel inner structural design, ensuring comfort and durability to its wearer.

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Fernando Romero’s gorgeous Ammonite design appears like a spiraling organic form, cascading into an angular platform boot. Architect Zaha Hadid’s Flames look more like high heel shoes, but are inspired by fire. Licks of 3D printed flames enguly the toes and ankles, with a trompe l’oeil spiked heel that does not reach the ground. Ross Lovegrove’s Ilabo booties are ensconced in mesh like curtains that drape over each foot. Ben Van Berkel’s Unx2 explores a hoof-like shape, but reveals the shape of the actual foot and ankle through a series of vertical lines that create a transparency. And finally, Michael Young’s Young Shoe encircles each foot with a build up of 3D printed lace work that encase a high heel profile.

The incredible pieces will be on display at Teatro Arsenale during Milan Design Week.

+ Re-Inventing Shoes

+ United Nude