So you might be asking yourself what does Air Max Day even mean? Well, we all know Nike correct? Every year March 26th is designated Air Max Day to celebrate the iconic sneaker that released in 1987, some you may remember that. So why are we blogging this right? And what does it have to do with the metal construction industry? This is just an example of innovation that Nike has exemplified for years. Yes it’s just a sneaker but consider that there is a lot that goes into design, materials, and colors to produce that pair that ends up at Nike retail locations, Foot Locker, Champs, or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Like metal construction design, materials, colors, etc. all are taken into consideration when designing a metal structure.
Some of you might not know this, actually I am willing to bank that many don’t, but an architect is the person behind many of Nike’s iconic models. Tinker Hatfield is known for creating the world’s first cross-training shoe, many of Air Jordan models, and of course the Air Max technology. Tinker realized that he could apply what he had learned in architecture school to design sneakers, yes I know incredible! Think about how innovative it was to have a shoe with visible air in 1987, the Air Max 1, and you know what inspired that design? If you guessed Centre Georges Pompidou, you are right, if not then you are wrong. It’s an innovation that continues today and applied to many of Nike’s other models and products. Today Nike released TInker’s first Air Max before the Air Max 1 had been designed back in 1987. It is dubbed the Air Max Zero. This is important because Nike has gone into the vault pulled an old design out but applied new technology, materials, colors etc. to the shoe.
Photo courtesy of SneakerNews.com
Tinker Hatfield is a design legend in every shape and form to say the least. An architect who realized he could use architecture to design sneakers, I know unreal but how does this relate to metal construction. Well, where are our innovators? Where are those products that are timeless and have been redesigned for the future? I think many of us could learn a thing or two from Tinker.
I have said the metal construction industry is stagnant and not innovative because of examples like the above. Maybe it’s time we all took a look into our vaults to review the products we’ve developed through the years. By looking at these products we can identify new materials, colors, and design practices that can be improved. You might also want to look at some of the processes you’ve put into place and how you can improve efficiency. Most of all document anything you think of whether it be product enhancement or process simplification, it is all valuable information for the industry. You may not like the example we’ve provided above, but consider that he is an architect and was named One of Fortune magazine’s “100 Most Influential Designers” of the 20th century in 1998.
Can we become innovative and change the stagnant behavior that seems to have consumed the industry? We sure believe so but it is going to take a lot of work, why not start now.
****To read TInker Hatfield’s interview click here****