Polina Krichko’s Vision of Upcycled Sneakers: How ‘Future Fossils’ Transforms Footwear Waste into Art

July 21, 2023
2 mins read
polina.krichko (INSTAGRAM)

The “Future Fossils” project, crafted by Polina Krichko, stands as a beacon in the world of sustainable design, addressing the ecological problem with footwear materials. With sneakers being a complex amalgamation of multiple materials like PVC, EVA, and silicone rubbers, they contribute significantly to landfill pollution. Harnessing this waste, Krichko re-engineers the silicone rubber, often discarded as auxiliary material, into innovative sneaker designs.

Krichko’s method is an eco-friendly marvel, employing additives and catalysts to reshape waste into intriguing new forms, almost akin to a classic sculptor molding clay. It’s a testament to her creativity and desire to reshape the future of footwear design. Moreover, it pushes the boundaries of what waste could be: not merely discarded objects but resources awaiting transformation.

Eidos: The Sneaker’s Journey

Alongside CG artist Yaroslav Svyatykh, Krichko breathed life into the journey of these transformed sneakers via an animation, “Eidos”. The duo used their artistic expertise to tell the tale of sneakers undergoing multiple stages of transformation in a futuristic world. The short film, a visual spectacle, presents sneakers as they merge with rocks, float in water, and dance in the air alongside fluid, metallic elements, challenging the rigid norms of traditional product narratives.

“Eidos,” inspired by Greek philosophy, primarily focuses on the aesthetic journey of sneakers, deviating from the common functionality narrative. The duo dreamed up future scenarios, placing the sneaker as the protagonist in an ever-evolving world, symbolizing the continuous transformation inherent in our consumer-driven society.

Sneakers as Cultural Symbols

Krichko and Svyatykh’s work transcends beyond footwear design, reaching into societal reflections. The sneaker, amidst the hyper-consumerist society we live in, stands as a symbolic entity, a form of self-expression. Despite their critique of the consumeristic trend and the cult of brands, they appreciate how footwear has emerged as a unique canvas for self-expression.

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Dynamic Duo: Krichko and Svyatykh

Navigating through her initial career challenges, Krichko emerged as an experimental designer with an extensive palette, dabbling in recycled textiles and deadstock items. Her drive is her unquenchable curiosity and the charm of new concepts, tools, and techniques. On the other side, Svyatykh, the mastermind behind the visually captivating world of “Eidos”, enjoys the flexibility and room for experimentation offered by CGI.

Their shared interests in design and storytelling led to a fruitful collaboration. Both stress the importance of a collaborative work culture, appreciating the unique perspective it offers. They plan to continue this artistic alliance, weaving other innovative ideas that sprouted during the creation of “Eidos”.

“Future Fossils” and “Eidos” embody the future of sustainable design – a vision that views waste as a potential resource, pushing the creative envelope to turn it into captivating, environmentally friendly products. The work of Krichko and Svyatykh serves as a powerful reminder of the blend of art, sustainability, and innovation that can shape our future.

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