Design which allows for do-it-yourself repairs immeasurably helps facilitate a lower-impact lifestyle. Shoes are a good example of this -- you can wear 'em till you have to resole them, but repairing them yourself does take a little practice and elbow grease. Not so with these clever, easy-to-repair shoes by Eindhoven-based design grad Eugenia Morpurgo: the soles and uppers are designed to be taken apart and replaced easily, instead of having to deal with glue and knives.
Morpurgo explains the idea behind the Repair It Yourself shoe, which also comes with a repair kit that can be used to repair other things in the house:
Shoes are one of those products that, with the rise of consumerism and mass production, evolved drastically from a completely repairable object; and the active social-economical structure that existed around shoe repair is slowly disappearing. Shoes, both crafted and industrially manufactured, are almost always assembled through irreversible connections, stitching and/or gluing. This means that components such as the sole and the upper, although commonly made of two very different materials, are inseparable. Throughout use, shoes are worn and damaged both in the sole and in the upper.
These shoes are designed with a reversible connection between the sole and the upper, allowing the repair process to be more transparent in relation to the material the individual component is made of. This project brings back in the hand of the consumers tools and knowledge for repairing.
It's a great idea, and gets us wondering if designers will similarly take this further with even more durable shoes like boots or other winter-worthy footwear. Of course, fixing your own shoes isn't nowhere near as complicated as making your own toaster from scratch; so keeping in mind the axiom "if you can't fix it, you don't own it," it may be an interesting experiment to embark on.