Nike: The Past, Present, and Future of Product Design
Redefining Athletic Potential
Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman has always sought ways to give his athletes a competitive advantage. He has collaborated with athletes, researched materials and technology, and studied athletic movement. This approach became the foundation of Nike’s design process that continues today.
The Waffle Sole
Bowerman was obsessed with maximizing the performance of his University of Oregon track team. When the University resurfaced the track, Bowerman was challenged to determine what type of sole would be ideal for his runners’ shoes. Inspired by the pattern of his breakfast waffle, Bowerman began to experiment. The Nike Waffle Trainer and Waffle Racer put Nike on the map.
Nike continues to carry on Bowerman’s legacy of innovative thinking. Nike’s design team worked closely with Kobe Bryant, who broke down his needs to performance goals, and produced a shoe influenced by Bryant’s insight of the “hunt or be hunted” nature of the game and informed by scientific, biomechanic, and medical research.
Future of Product Design
At the core of Nike’s design process is a commitment and dedication to innovation. Technology continues to evolve the way Nike designs and develops products.