Tinker Hatfield is one of Nike’s most historically impressive shoe designers. He’s known for a variety of shoes and products, but his most impressive by far are the Nike Air Maxes. There’s a lot that went into the design of those pairs of shoes alone, but first it’s important to look back, really far back.
The Accutron watch is a model with a window into its inner innerworkings. It’s common today to see a cog or two showing in modern designs, but this was all started by Accutron. Starting in 1960, it was a watch so popular it spread all over pop culture. Better yet it spread all over the planet until Accutron watches were literally in space.
This was an undeniably influential and fascinating watch. Although it actually wasn’t the watch itself that went on to connect to Tinker Hatfield and the Air Maxes. Instead there was first the Centre Pompidou, a french architectural feat. This building was controversial for its inside out design, so controversial it took time to be recognized as beautiful. It’s a bright, loud, unapologetic design, and it’s based on Accutron window watches.
Now Tinker Hatfield, before being a shoe designer, was an architect. He still worked at Nike early on, just designing buildings instead of shoes. This exposed Hatfield to the Centre Pompidou, a design that quickly became one of his favorites. It was something that influenced his designs all throughout his years, and culminated in one distinct choice.
Air bags. Nike Air Maxes iconically show the air bubbles of the shoe on the outside. Clearly displaying how the shoe itself is meant to operate. This is, like the Accutron window watch, a design choice so common today it seems basic. At the time though there were no other shoes on the market that looked like that.
Today, air bubble shoes are rampant. They’re not quite as trendy as they used to be, but the design is still endlessly influential. This is what Accutron watches, Nike Air Maxes, and the Centre Pompidou have in common. Revealing the inside, showing the inner mechanism, it’s an idea that is undeniably unique and endlessly fascinating.
Infographic Source: https://nowsourcing.com/a-gift-that-inspired-history/