japanese artist and designer yukako hihara has designed a pair of shoes that use the repulsive force of magnets to create the physical sense of ‘walking on the moon’. the ‘anti-gravity’ shoes were designed as part of an experiment into creating something for consumers that made the wearer feel like they were flying.

images courtesy of the designer

‘I wanted to make the impossible, possible,’ explains yukako. ‘when I was a kid, I dreamt of flying, like PeterPan, walking on the clouds or even on the moon.’

to design shoes that create the physical sensation of defying gravity, yukako relies on the power of magnetism and its ability to foster attraction and repulsion. by building a set of magnets with matching poles into the shoe, a repulsive force generates a resistance that can be felt with each step.

‘because I prioritized the design, the size of this magnet does not provide enough magnetic force and so does not float completely when walking,’ yukako explains. ‘this is a point of improvement point, as the ideal situation would be to stay floating in the air.’

the main body of the shoes are made using a clear polyurethane, which has been shaped into a futuristic design that reveals their inner-workings. in their current prototype state the anti-gravity shoes use 4 flat disc-shaped magnets, two of which are embedded in the outsole of each shoe and the others built into removable insoles.

yukako experimented with various materials including gel, foam and wire mesh. she also tried creating soles made of plastic rubber tubing, before discovering that magnetic forces could help to create her vision of ‘anti-gravity’ shoes.

project info

name: anti-gravity shoes

designer: yukako hihara

kieron marchese I designboom

aug 11, 2019

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