Dezeen Magazine

Electric Light Shoe by Freedom of Creation

Dutch designers Freedon of Creation have created a giant, illuminated shoe containing a miniature city for Japanese footwear brand Onitsuka Tiger.

Designed by FOC designers Janne Kyttanen and Mads Thomsen, the shoe is a metre long and covered in Japanese cultural icons and signs.

The giant shoe is intended to communicate Onitsuka Tiger's Japanese roots and resembles a compact and intricate city. Update 26/01/08: see a short moving explaining how the shoe was designed and made.

The characteristic Onitsuka Tiger stripes represent systems of streets and highways, illuminated signs crowd the front of the shoe and a monster looms over buildings at the shoe's opening.

The intricate detail was achieved with rapid prototype manufacturing, a process that allows a CAD file to be transformed into a solid object.

Smaller versions have also been produced for display in Onitsuka Tiger stores worldwide.

In addition, FOC designed accessories to complement the shoe, including a USB stick, keyring, shoe display stand and leaflet display tower.

The following press release about the project is from FOC:


"Electric Light Shoe": a kaleidoscope of symbols and lights with designs from Freedom Of Creation

Janne Kyttanen and Mads Thomsen, FOC designers, have produced this suggestive creation for the international ad agency StrawberryFrog Amsterdam for its Client Onitsuka Tiger – ‘ASICS’ premium heritage brand.

The meter-long shoe called the ‘Electric Light Shoe’ is central to the global Electric Tiger Land campaign for 2008.

The rich iconography and amazing purity of the FOC creation mark how modern technologies can be the privileged vehicles for important issues concerning company communication. Onitsuka Tiger's deep Japanese roots are enhanced by this intense accumulation of signs and symbols.

A cultural revolution... a technological and visual “tour de force” that transforms utopia into reality: an entire city contained in a meter-long shoe. All this is "Electric Light Shoe", a dream-like universe created by Freedom Of Creation (FOC) designers Janne Kyttanen and Mads Thomsen, characterized by mesmerizing and fascinatingly complex shapes.

The project is center-piece for "Electric Tiger Land", the Onitsuka Tiger brand campaign for 2008. It plays an important role in the company’s integrated global brand strategy ‘Made of Japan’ - a philosophy that portrays its Japanese heritage, and attitude to modern-day Japan, in inspiring and imaginative ways.

After seeing the concept from StawberryFrog, Janne Kyttanen and Mads Thomsen conceived a microcosm that features an astounding visual impact: an endless flow of multi-sensorial stimuli that reproduces and simultaneously deconstructs and reinvents the unmistakable outline of the Onitsuka Tiger shoe.

The apparent visual unity of the project encloses an incredible iconic succession of Japanese urban culture. One part of the shoe magically transforms into a landing strip for jets, while the Onitsuka Tiger distinguishing side bands become highways that lead to an imaginary world of exceptional magnificence and intricacy.

Upon entrance into this universe, one is transported directly into a chaotic and stimulating reality. A giant metropolis in the empire of the Rising Sun - intersecting streets, luminous store banners, city buildings and the obligatory form of a terrifying creature that, as in any self-respecting Japanese manga, pushes its way through the urban agglomeration.

"Electric Tiger Land", a campaign creatively conceived by International advertising agency, StrawberryFrog, and a direct result of their “Made of Japan” strategy devised for Onitsuka Tiger is brimming with humorous and surprising initiatives.

FOC’s genius and extensive know-how made it possible to transform the initial concept from StrawberryFrog into a reality that is the " Electric Light Shoe": an insight into the 21st century, a desire to give form to our visions of a distant future, and give life to an astonishing and hypnotizing project – a miniature city of light bursting with the visual iconic symbols that have forever been in the Japanese collective imagination.

The extraordinary aspects of the creation reside in the minute accuracy of each detail and the skillful combination of structure and illumination. FOC made use of its pluriennial know-how of Layer Manufacturing technologies and developed a partnership with Fcubic (Sweden) and CTES (Spain) for the rapid production of FOC’s revolutionary design concept.

"Electric Tiger Land" will make use of a variety of communication tools, among which extraordinary miniatures of “Electric Light Shoe” used for luminous USB memory keys and for metal key rings. These replicas represent an incredible synthesis of previously unimaginable manufacturing possibilities, able to accurately reproduce the most intricate of details, even when miniaturized to infinitely small sizes.

Other promotional initiatives rendered possible by FOC design and LayerManufacturing technologies also include totem-like tower displays, shoe displays and scaled shoe models (40 cm and 70 cm) that all recall the aesthetics of the "Electric Tiger Land" to be found in Onitsuka Tiger stores world-wide.

"Electric Tiger Land" represents the meeting point between state-of-the-art production technologies and the world of brand communication: the company statement acquires increased identity and new astonishing values, visibility becomes fascinatingly dazzling with complex details that converge to create a visual impact that will leave a permanent trace embedded in the imagination of onlookers.


USB-shoe - Information technology takes on an innovative and unexpected stylishness with the USB memory key - a tiny replica of "Electric Light Shoe". Once activated, the key diffuses a soft illumination.

Key-ring shoe - A metal miniaturized reproduction of FOC's "Electric Light Shoe" becomes an appealing and original key ring.

Shoe Display - The Japanese symbology intersects and creates a display platform intense with innovative, practical functionality. The imaginative shoe display created by FOC designers allows footwear to be presented creatively and personalises the Onitsuka Tiger in-store design concept.

Card Tower Display - capturing and re-elaborating the "Made of Japan" concept that distinguishes "Electric Light Shoe", the Card Tower Display, created by FOC designers, represents a functional element for the Onitsuka Tiger stores world-wide. Made with Layer Manufacturing technologies, Card Tower Display becomes a showcase for Onitsuka Tiger pamphlets and catalogues.

About Freedom Of Creation:

Freedom Of Creation (FOC) is where cutting edge technology meets design. FOC is the first design company to specialize in design for Layer Manufacturing, developing products for its own FOC brand and for other design labels in a variety of sectors.

Since 2000, the extensive research conducted by FOC in Design for Layer manufacturing has resulted in ground-breaking, inventive and successfully innovative commercial product designs, the development of new industrial materials and software products, and has been the foundation for significant R&D projects with a range of industrial partners. FOC was founded in 2000 and is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

About Onitsuka Tiger:

The history of Onitsuka Tiger began with the establishment of Onitsuka Co. Ltd. in 1949. Based on the philosophy of bringing up sound youth through sports, thecompany has maintained the tradition of specializing in the manufacturing of sports shoes using original ideas and applying epoch-making techniques.

As the Japanese people recovered from the war and began to appreciate the benefits of sports, Onitsuka Tiger shoes were on their feet. The first basketball shoes in Japan had a tiger face design on the arch of the foot and this became Onitsuka's trademark.In the 1960's, Onitsuka Tiger sports shoes were worn not only by the Japanese, but also by top foreign athletes

About StrawberryFrog:

StrawberryFrog is in the forefront of the flourishing communications scene, blazing a trail with unfettered energy, breakthrough strategies, creativity and fresh ideas. Their buzzword is momentum. StrawberryFrog have received many top awards and honours, including a position among "The 25 Best Managed Companies" selected by the Wall Street Journal. Work done for their clients is regularly featured and discussed in some of the world's most respected media channels.

About Layer Manufacturing:

Layer manufacturing is a process that allows for a CAD file to be transformed into a solid object.With a push of a button, the manufacturer realizes significant economic benefits, such as elimination of warehouse, stock, and assembly processes, extreme reduction in transportation costs and just-in-time production. FOC is the first company specialized in and the leading innovators of design for Layer Manufacturing.