We have all seen beautiful examples of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, but when was the last time you wore a piece of origami?
Horatio Yuxin Han wants the answer to be “today.”
Han, a recent graduate of the Pratt Institute of Art and Design, has created Unifold, a pair of origami-like shoes. And unlike origami, folding a Unifold shoe is a 2-minute cinch. Simply cut, fold and wear them outside.
“The idea started when I first became interested in the shoe industry and was surprised how difficult one shoe was to make,” said Han, 23. He explained that one mass-produced shoe is assembled in 20 steps and requires an assembly line of factory workers.
Surely there’s an easier, and cheaper, method, he thought.
After researching traditional shoemaking methods, Han was inspired by the Indian moccasin, which is constructed from three pieces of fabric. Han assigned himself the challenge of updating that idea for modern society and to make it accessible for everyday use. Hence, the Unifold shoe.
Still a prototype, the shoe can be constructed with any fabric and material. Like a cookie, you first die-cut the shoe pattern from a piece of fabric. All that’s left to do after that is fold the one-piece pattern into a wearable shoe.
Beyond being a comfortable “lifestyle” shoe, as Han puts it, the Unifold is easily recyclable because it’s folded from one piece of fabric. What Han lacks right now is a timetable for when Unifold will hit the market. He is still fine-tuning its design and experimenting with suitable fabrics.
Need a taste of those origami kicks now? Watch the video above to see how easy a process it is to assemble them.