Patrick Nair

BFA in Art & Design

Detroit Ultras

In 2012, Detroit City FC was founded as a semi-professional soccer team representing Detroit. The team immediately inspired a die-hard group of fans that became the Northern Guard Supporters, or NGS. They’ve created a community centered around passion for their team and city. This organization represents the best parts of the beautiful game, and aligns with my passion for the sport. In my senior project I’m celebrating this passion and representing it in a pair of concept soccer cleats that are inspired by the NGS organization and the soccer community in Detroit. I focus on incorporating trend analysis, research, and user interviews into the design process to create a narrative around the project. The pair of cleats uses symbols, representations, and concepts to tie into aspects of the identity of Detroit. The construction, colorway, and material choices are inspired by soccer culture in the city.

During this project I designed and created a pair of cleats inspired by soccer culture in Detroit.

The sole was 3D printed and painted then attached to the upper with cement glue. The abstract representation of foot bones on it is inspired by the motif of bones in the NGS brand.

The tongue is designed using upcycled pieces of a bandana and a grocery bag. One of the NGS chants is printed on the bandana, “No One Likes Us!”.

The cleats are designed to be comfortable, lightweight and to lock in specific parts of the foot. The heel, for example, has a veg-tanned leather heel counter to provide extra support and prevent injury.

Focusing on storytelling, functionality and aesthetic, the materials will enhance the grungy punk aesthetic of the shoe, which ties into the rebellious, brash and boisterous brand of NGS.

Technical rendering of the lateral and sole view of the shoe. This would be sent to the manufacturer in a case of mass production.

Prototypes allowed me to test construction methods, material combinations, and form. These are made of a variety of recycled materials such as plastic bags, traffic vests, office chairs, and even plastic gutter guard mesh.

Taping a last is a strategy that involves covering a last with masking tape. This allows a designer to draw directly onto the last, cut out the pieces of a shoe, and translate them to 2D form.

Form iteration sketches gave me a way to visualize and compare many different ideas for the shoe. I narrowed down the style, feel, and how the concept would tie in using these thumbnails.

Sketching out different ideas and concepts to work towards a final rendering. Visualizing how all the parts would fit together.