DUCKIES | Kim Kuhl

DUCKIES – Duck The System

DUCKIES is a 100 % TPU kids shoe integrated into a deposit and return system in shops and kindergartens. With a playful design that develops the wide toe position, DUCKIES borrows the look of a waddling duck foot to make the healthy foot position attractive for toddlers.

DUCKIES – Duck The System

Where can plastic still be useful today and take a sustainable approach? When working on investigating and highlighting sustainability in plastic, this project aims to question and shape not only the product but also the system, the community and the service behind it.
Kids’ feet grow up to 1-1.5 mm per month, which means that children‘s shoes have a short life. 95% of shoes end up in landfills!

57% of children wear shoes that are too small. This can be due to rapid growth as well as to our current shoe culture: shoes often offer the foot little free space, especially in the toe area. With a crooked toe position, kids risk malpositions and foot damage that can affect the entire body. 98% of all children are born with healthy feet but only 20 % can maintain this foot health in adulthood. This is why current trends are moving towards more barefoot running for children.

In its design, DUCKIES shows a radical paradigm shift in the shape of children‘s shoes. With a playful design that develops the wide toe position, DUCKIES borrows the look of a waddling duck foot to make the unusual shape of the healthy foot position attractive for toddlers.

The Radical Freedom of Toes enables the big toe to perform its natural function as an anchor and stabilizer for the foot and thus the entire body. Unlike normal shoes, which hold onto the foot due to the tightness in the toe area, DUCKIES give the foot its hold at the instep and at the heel.

Standing on a 0% heel, the skeleton is naturally aligned and the body weight is evenly distributed over the entire surface of the soles of the feet.
With the principle of extreme flexibility in all directions, push-off and balancing propulsion is mobilized and a real barefoot feeling is created.

DUCKIES was specifically designed according to the performance properties of TPU by BASF. It illustrates the versatility of the material in a ‚One material product‘. TPU meets the intended properties like extreme flexibility and lightness but slip – and abrasion resistance, comfort, nice haptic and breathability.

Following the 100% one material principle, DUCKIES proposes a sustainable use of plastic:
They can be recycled mechanically with relatively little energy, intensifying the material use in a closed product cycle until the material no longer performs.
Moreover, the deposit and return system reacts to the existing and established swap-, rewear- and second-hand culture of kids‘ products and enables access for an easy change of shoe sizes for families, tackling the high rate of children that wear too small shoes. When DUCKIES have been worn (and passed on), they are returned to the shop and can be exchanged for the next size.

MA Modul 1_Kim Kuhl_dokumentation (2)(2)(2)

Kim Kuhl, MA WS2021/22 –