Fancy sowing seeds as you run? Look no further than these rewilding trainers by Kiki Grammatopoulos
The project – Rewild the Run – aims to promote “positive participation in the ecology of the environment” by creating shoes that increase biodiversity with each step.
- Olivia Hingley
- 18 July 2023
Product designer Kiki Grammatopoulos has created a pair of running trainers that sow seeds as you run. This is achieved through the shoe’s hooked and tangled plastic soles which mimic the ways in which animal hooves and fur collect and then deposit seeds and plants, promoting growth of greenery. The primary intention of the shoes is to raise awareness of the rewilding process, and to demonstrate how vital human intervention is to maintain our ecosystem and ensure biodiversity. “With this project we democratise urban rewilding, allowing city dwellers to engage in the ecological growth of the local environment,” says Kiki.
Kiki is a designer with six years experience working with award-winning brands. Following a BA in Industrial Design, the shoes have been created during Kiki’s MA in material futures at Central Saint Martin’s, a course she took to satisfy her “insatiable curiosity and a constant drive for sustainable innovation” and to “continue to push the boundaries of design, exploring new frontiers and finding creative solutions to complex challenges”.
In practice, the shoes counter damages to the environment caused by urbanisation. Kiki explains that, “the increase in urban developments has contributed to the extensive fragmentation and reduction of natural habitats. Urbanisation has a range of adverse effects on ecosystem functioning, including the disruption of plant dispersal processes across the landscape.” She continues: “the city is an entirely man-made construct and demands intuitive thinking to integrate natural spaces within it. Therefore, a vital part of urban rewilding is the human component of the process.”
Overall, the shoes demonstrate how we can consciously integrate ecological considerations into design practices, in the process drawing attention to much broader narratives and projects.
Kiki Grammatopoulos: Rewild the Run – Photography Tom Mannion (Copyright © Kiki Grammatopoulos, 2023)
Lewis Rees, Run The Boroughs x New Balance | Generation.works
Riccardo Cook, Footwear Designer, Pronoia Studio
Matthew Overlan, Cognitive Researcher, DeepMind
Barbara Smith, Lecturer in Ecology, MA Regenerative Design, CSM
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.