Video: Nike's John Hoke on The Nature of Motion exhibition in Milan

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Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition aims to "start a conversation" with the design community

Milan 2016: in this Dezeen movie, Nike's vice president of global design John Hoke explains why the sportswear giant chose to put on a major exhibition during Milan design week this year.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
Nike's The Nature of Motion exhibition is located within a former industrial space in the south of Milan

"Nike has come to Milan for many years looking and observing and we felt that it might be of interest to not just come and witness but come and participate," Hoke explains in the movie.

"Milan offers a unique venue and a stage to have a conversation with people that love design about where we want to take the world of sports going forward."

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
The Nike exhibition presents installations by an array of international designers

Located within a former industrial space in the south of the city, The Nature of Motion exhibition presents installations by an array of international designers exploring the concept of movement alongside work by Nike's internal design team.

"This exhibit is a great example of Nike showing how we collaborate with external artists, creatives and designers that are pushing culture and design forward," Hoke explains.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
Greg Lynn created a microclimate chair for Nike, which cools and heats athletes between periods of exercise

There are eight installations by external designers, which are displayed against white walls made from stacks of Nike shoeboxes.

The work presented includes a microclimate chair made from carbon fibre by architect Greg Lynn, which cools and heats athletes between periods of exercise.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
Max Lamb's installation consists of blocks of marble, aluminium and polystyrene blocks

British designer Max Lamb has created an installation of giant blocks of marble, aluminium and polystyrene floating on a cushion of air that can be moved with just one finger.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
Lindsey Adelman's two branch-like light fixtures vibrate at random intervals

New York lighting designer Lindsey Adelman created a motorised chandelier inspired by the structure of trees that shivers sporadically.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
Flyknit textiles replace drum skins in Martino Gamper's installation

Other designers chose to use materials commonly found in Nike’s sportswear. Martino Gamper created a set of drums using Nike Flyknit knitted textiles for the skins, while Bertjan Pot created a series of poufs by weaving shoelaces around inner tubes from wheelbarrows and tractor tires.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
Bertjan Pot has woven ropes, shoelaces and belts around the inner tubes of wheels for his installation

"As you move through the space you have these different opportunities of seeing each individual designer's expression of interpreting and abstracting this concept of natural motion," Hoke says.

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
As part of the exhibition, there is also a presentation of the brand's latest Nike Free running shoe

After the installations by external designers, visitors enter a series of rooms by Nike's internal design team, including a presentation of the brand's latest Nike Free running shoe.

"The concept of Nike Free is looking at how we can have the foot move more naturally," Hoke explains. "It's a journey we've been on for 15 years and we are unveiling the latest instalment, which we've been working on for some time and are thrilled to announce it here."

The Nature of Motion exhibition by Nike
The exhibition ends with a series of rooms by Nike's internal design team

The final room in the exhibition features over 30 experimental sports shoes that have been adapted to amplify the motion of the body.


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"It's roughly 30 or so 'concept cars,'" Hoke says. "We unleashed our designers to create a new under foot experience. For us they are very important because they are a glimpse of where Nike is taking sports and athletics."

The Nature of Motion is on show at Via Orobia 15 for the duration of Milan design week, which opens today and runs until 17 April 2016.

John Hoke, vice president of global design at Nike
John Hoke, vice president of global design at Nike. Photograph by Dezeen

Other installations around the city include British designer Lee Broom's travelling miniature palazzo in the back of a delivery van and Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto's "forest of light" for fashion brand COS. Check out Dezeen's guide to unmissable installations and exhibitions around the city »

A range of major brands have stolen the spotlight with their installations at this year's design week, according to Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs, and are helping make the event more interesting. Other examples include car brand MINI's exhibition of its concepts for shared living spaces.

This movie was filmed by Dezeen in Milan for Nike. It is the first in a series of movies looking at the work presented in The Nature of Motion exhibition, which we will be publishing in the coming weeks.