by Sonal ShahJul 09, 2021
Israeli industrial designer Netha Goldberg has conceptualised three pairs of shoes, which while worn, enable people to assist others. Titled the Netina collection, this one-of-kind range of shoes includes three distinctive designs—one holds matches, another contains tampons and the last one has electrical ports to charge a number of devices. The matches, tampons and electrical ports are placed on top of the shoes and are meant to be shared with other people. For this collection, Goldberg selected everyday objects that are frequently lent to other people such as tampons or matches to light a cigarette. The aim of the Netina collection is to encourage social interaction, which the designer thinks our society does not experience enough of.
“Bearing in mind that the objects we would like to give are upon us, the act of giving requires physical interaction with each other. An interaction that I think, that we as a society do not experience enough and may even avoid. This point was the main motivation of my work on this project,” mentions Goldberg.
The knitted Netina shoe collection includes a pair of red, blue and white shoes. The red pair of shoes comprises tube-shaped openings that can hold tampons of various sizes, which are usually kept in purses or bags. The white shoes feature prongs or spikes with holes that are utilised to hold matches. Lastly, the blue shoes have multiple USB charging ports, wherein people can charge their phones and other electronic devices. The battery of the blue shoes can be charged through a charging cable, which has been looped around the shoe.
“The human body contains various opportunities for carrying objects that can be useful for ourselves and to those around us. Our feet contain such benefits and also obtain the true characteristic of movement. Movement as in being dynamic and active but also movement, which symbolises the transfer and giving an object to another. I started researching what people like to give and to receive while they are on the go. I paid attention to the matter of weight and size. The result came in the form of three different types of shoes. White. Red. Blue,” adds Goldberg.
The design of the Netina shoes is informed by the purpose of their creation. To allow for increased human interaction, Netha designed the shoes keeping three factors in mind. Firstly, she wanted the objects to be clearly visible and be placed on top of the shoes, instead of being inside pockets or compartments. Secondly, the form of the shoes were based on the objects they carry. Thirdly, each shoe would hold a large amount of items that could be shared or lent. Furthermore, there is a barcode at the rear end of each shoe that would be connected to a social app, enabling people to connect with each other by scanning the barcode.
Goldberg began designing the Netina project by modelling with commonly available, disposable materials such as paper and cardboard. The final Netina shoes comprise a 3D printed sole and a fabric in the same colour, which are knitted together to create the shoe. “The sole of the shoe is 3D printed with PolyJet technology. PolyJet is a powerful 3D printing technology that produces smooth and accurate parts. This kind of printer allowed me to print using flexible materials and in the exact colour I chose. The top textile of each shoe has been dyed to create the desired colour. After this, all pieces were sewed together and connected to the flexible sole,” states Netha.
With the Netina shoes, product designer Netha Goldberg hopes to motivate not only friends and acquaintances, but also strangers to interact and assist each other. “I think it is important to give people access to our lives. We get along better with people who are close to us, therefore these random interactions can be interesting and unexpected. In general, my point of view about our goal as designers is to give a thread tip that will motivate, educate and will lead to action. It is not the only objective and role, but it is certainly an important one. A role that led me to create the Netina project,” concludes Goldberg.