May 30, 1978 was the date that Nike officially became Nike – changing its name from the less dynamic-sounding Blue Ribbon Sports.
Just over two years ago, designer Paul Jenkins launched the NIKE78 project, named after its birth year, tasking 78 creatives to challenge the function of Nike shoes.
Each was given a new pair of Nike’s to appropriate in whatever way they wished – with some interesting results.
Adam Hayes took a very philanthropic approach, swapping his new shoes with a less-shiny pair at a day centre for asylum seekers and refugees in South London.
Justus Oehler of Pentagram turned his shoes into an aeroplane. ‘As we human beings can’t fly, we settle for less; we make do with running and jumping,’ he says.
‘But the dream of flying is still being dreamt, and maybe one day we will literally take off given the right pair of shoes. Well, this is the pair of shows mankind has been waiting for. The real “Nike Air”.’
Taking a domestic approach to her trainers, Erica Dorn created Marathon Cake to represent the hard work athletes put into training but also the ‘ever-sweet reward.’
Matt Bucknall’s equally delicious-looking creations are a comment on familiar tales of well-intentioned sports purchases, only left to gather dust, as forgotten as the optimistic goals of running marathons of joining (and using) a gym. Bucknall deep-fat-fried the shoes, rendering them totally useless (unless you’re very hungry).
We love Print Club’s cute Racing Pigeon, created, according to Print Club, to highlight ‘the demise of the greatest sport in the world, Pigeon Racing’, favourite sport of Mike Tyson.
The exhibition is online now at www.nike78.co.uk.