The project explores a pair of conceptual, 'sensitive shoes', informed by reflexology to enhance wellbeing.
As the user walks, pressure points are stimulated by pressing on a soft sensitive area that corresponds with various reflexology points on the foot, causing a gentle glow from the underside of the sole. The ball of the foot touches on the solar plexus point - the centre of emotional energy. The shoes offer an emotional 'bath of light' experience so that the act of walking is "healing". A reflexology chart was used as a source of reference for the shoes. The lit tubes fitted within the parameters of the chart were raised above the sole so that the wearer could apply pressure in that region of the foot. The heel is placed around the small intestinal area of the foot. The ball of the foot point is near the solar plexus area - an important point as it is a 'grounding' reflex and is excellent to stimulate for relaxation.
The shoes have been created with the idea of "emotional wellbeing" throughout using various materials and idea's. The sole replicates the foot shape which gives an anatomical feel to the shoe. They were designed with the sole element as a replaceable component which could be changed easily by scanning the foot shape of the wearer. The shoe can only be worn by the fitted user, the implications of this are important within "emotional interactivity". The sole shape has been taken from a direct tracing of a foot. This shape would change depending who wears the shoe. The battery, micro switch LED’s and battery holder fit in the front acrylic.
The reflexology points are the raised clear cast above the acrylic tube. They have a texture and are physically noticeable. This piece has been designed so it breaks down into separate components, for instance the heels electronics will fit a different foot shape with small adjustments to the original drawing.