For my first prototype, I created a Moonshoe/skate hybrid, which I dubbed Moonskates. After going through a couple sketches like below:
I started fabricating a prototype. Firstly, I purchased a clear plastic bin from Target that serves as the holder for the shoe. I then taped an old skate shoe such that it was suspended in the bin, giving the shoe an illusion of hovering. This is similar to how Moonshoes are designed in that the footwear is suspended by elastics within a plastic container.
My thinking was that it would be a lot of fun to be able to skate and jump on a trampoline at the same, so after that, I decided to add skateboard trucks and wheels to the bottom. Conveniently, this addition allowed me to diverge from the static nature of the product.
Despite the fact that I was inspired by a combination of vaporwave, Moonshoes, and skate culture, it was challenging for me to come up with different aesthetics for this product. I added teal-patterned duct tape to the exterior of the bin to give the product a more post-modern/vaporwave aesthetic. However, that addition alone was not sufficient in providing the feel of ‘chill absurdity’ that I desired.
Moving forward, I need to explore my aesthetic choices for the project in depth. I am considering making the project entirely non-functional and placing a spray paint can in the center instead of a shoe in order to evoke the ‘feel’ of a moon shoe without actually having one. Similarly, I am considering painting the outside of the bin in a graffiti-like pattern. The whole assembly, in the end, will look like a street-artist’s paint container that has skateboard trucks on the bottom: giving a holistic impression of skate culture
I could also go forward with my Moonskates idea functionally and use snowboard bindings in the center as opposed to old skate shoes, so that feet of all sizes can fit. I am also considering using elastic bands/physical therapy bands instead of duct tape to support the footwear.
A major consideration for this project is safety. Brakes have not been integrated yet, so safety is in fact an issue. I could add rollerblade brakes to the front and back, however, braking would not be easily accomplished regardless because of the system’s elasticity.