Envisioned using parametric design tools, the Laceless Poseidon by Kedar Benjamin literally looks out of this world!
Benjamin’s shoe design breaks the mold with how footwear is usually perceived. While a regular sneaker can be viewed in three different strata – an outsole, a midsole, and a shoe body (which houses the laces), the Laceless Poseidon doesn’t share the same distinction. Looking like it’s being enveloped by an alien substance, the Poseidon’s outsole and body merge into one, with organic patterns that look like fingerprints adding a unique touch to the shoe’s overall aesthetic.
Designer: Kedar Benjamin
Designed as a part of the #lacelesschallenge organized by Laceless Design, the Poseidon takes inspiration from the ocean and the variety of creatures that live in it, and expresses the language of the marine in the form of a lifestyle sneaker. In borrowing from the ocean’s vast library of visual inspiration, the Poseidon does look otherworldly, almost like it’s from a different planet altogether.
The shoe’s signature fingerprint-esque motifs were thanks to an algorithm known as reaction-diffusion, an AI mimicry of a natural process that’s responsible for how a zebra’s stripes take shape, a brain coral grows, or patterns emerge on different types of tropical fish. The reaction-diffusion algorithm is also extensively used by companies like Nervous System, New Balance, and even Crocs with their collaboration with Salehe Bembury. The Laceless Poseidon comes in four ocean-inspired colors too – Kraken Orange, Polyp pink, Odyssey blue, and Abyss black.
The Laceless Poseidon has an organic appeal that captures the eye no matter what angle you look at it from. The shoe has a smoother design on the top near the ankles, but gets progressively coarser as you move to the base, in a way that looks like the footwear evolved itself for better traction. Four pressure points on the underside of the shoe provide contact with the ground, creating the friction you’d need for a better grip. As its name suggests, the Laceless Poseidon doesn’t have any traditional fastening system. Instead, it relies on a knitted inner and a flexible outer structure to create a shoe that fits like a glove.
“This shoe is designed to be made from direct-injected polyurethane with recycled polyurethane particles, and a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) knitted upper”, Benjamin told Yanko Design. “It features a translucent TPU outsole. The polyurethane cage-like midsole wraps around the upper and makes use of variable mixing of two colors which are similar to create a fake smoothness in the gradient. The bouncier PU (polyurethane) is lower, while the more flexible PU is higher up.”
An earlier iteration of the concept (codenamed Laceless Neptune) actually shows how the shoe comes together. Below, you can clearly see the knitted inner, the midsole, and the organic algorithm-aided outer shell.
The #lacelessdesign challenge is still underway and Kedar Benjamin’s entry is currently going through a popular-vote judging process. To see the competition unfold and to vote for the Laceless Poseidon, visit the Laceless Design Instagram page.