Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day End
'And so we've come to the end of the road'

Friday June 22nd 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “A top performer shall not be promoted unless he can present a superior capable of stepping into his shoes ."
Book of the day: Talent is Never Enough - John D. Maxwell

The last day of this Pensole experience has come to end. It is impossible to put into words what these last three weeks have meant to each and every one of us. A big thank you to adidas for the amazing opportunity. As for the final day . . . .

The day was a battle to the finish line. It seemed as if sugar and caffeine were your only allies.

The boards beginning to come together.

The interior space coming together.

A quick last minute pep talk.

Matt kicking the presentations off in style.

Joel pointing out the details of his final soccer boot design.

Trevor leads team adizero into their presentations

Aric explaining the details of his boxing shoe.

Dan signaling his final outsole design.

Marcellus detailing his multi-sport shoe.

J.P. explains the stages of a 100m sprint.

 A clay model up for professional inspection.

Talent + Youth + Passion = Nick D.

Leo explaining his research and discovery.

Getting some much needed, professional feedback.

Getting some advice on reflection.

The smile bunch.

Reunited and it feels so good.

Post presentations discussion.

Capturing the memories.

Special thanks for the shirts.

Pensole x adidas: that's a wrap.

-Bobby Ricci
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Day 14
'Set the stage'
Wednesday June 20th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: "Always attempt to simplify every process as far as possible"
Book of the day: Coaching the artist within by Eric Maisel

Thurseday was the last full day to finalize designs and get our presentaions ready for the final day. We were lucky enough to have Leon Imas from Adidas America and Brooks Gilley Founder/President of 52 Ltd. come in and share their experiences as designers, and gave helpful insite about working in the design industry.

Leon, from Adidas America shared tips on how great presentations will give you a edge.
Brooks, Founder/President of 52 Ltd. gave us great insite on the creative services industry.
Dan getting his hands dirty with some clay and sculpting tools.
Tim getting ready to add details to his clay model.
Finishing up sketchs for the final presentation nice and early, so we would have plenty of time for sleep and relaxation....
-Jarron Lisle
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Day 13
'Digging Deeper'
Wednesday June 20th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Document problems and share solutions"
Book of the day: Do you matter How great design will make people love your company by Robert Bruner

  Wednesday is our second day, and the last day, to focus on materials. Starting the morning off with a pop quiz, Suzette passed around different synthetic materials for us to identify. After the quiz, we jumped right into the world of natural leathers.

 Bobby and Suzette hold up a "Wet Blue" leather hide.

  Some of the leather samples we talked about in class.
After lunch, Suzette was kind enough to sit down with each of us.
we each got 1-on-1 feedback to help develop our material stories. 

While other students waited to meet with Suzette,
 we started to work on our clay models and mock-ups of our accessory products.

Joel cuts his stance model to create proportions that match his design..

-Robert Shook
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Day 12
'Material World'
Tuesday June 19th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Only the best for the athlete."
Book of the day: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness & Success by Russell Simmons

The second day of the third week rings in a new chapter in our design growth. In this stage of our "learn by doing" process we need start making sure we're clear in what we want our material to be and what the best material actually is for those performance needs we're solving for. Today, it's time to drop the "pensoles" and pick up some pens for some serious note-taking on the world of materials.
Suzette Henri guides all eyes and ears in Pensole's Material Library

 Joel Bewley examines the pigment treatment in one of the samples

 The beginning of Suzette's presentation "All Things Material"

 Suzette explaining the different cutting processes

 Some different degrees of complexity in packages

Jamieson Parker reiterates to the class a type of single layer mesh

And tomorrow it only gets deeper, as we break skin on the world of leather

- Tim Meredith

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Day 11
'Develop the intangible skills'
Monday June 18th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Work in the way that makes you proud of the results."
Book of the day: What Got You Here Won't Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith

The third week is upon us! It's the beginning of crunch time, and every moment counts. Feedback is being implemented, tweaks are being made, functional designs are evaluated and re-evaluated, and the group is making progress in finding solid solutions.
 Bobby at work on his tape-up.
 Joel making some tweaks to his design.
 Andy explains to the class the art of job searching. Hugely helpful to everyone.
 Aric gets some input from Dwayne.
 Nick getting in a groove.

One of the more complex tape-ups.

Finishing the day strong. Ready for day 12 - Materials.

- Matthew Shevitz
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Day 10
'Your not finish yet, keep pushing'.

Friday June 15th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Strive for perfection, there is always something you can improve ."
Book of the day: Driven From Within,

As the second week comes to a close, we come that much closer to finalizing our designs. However, things aren't over yet. There's still more time for refinement, as we inch closer to our goals of reaching a seamless design.

The guys hard at work in the a.m.

Dan receiving some consultation from the master himself

A couple of the guys doing tape-ups to help them in their design process.

Looking good fellas!

Later on in the day, a few of the guys at Adidas came by to provide us with some insight on our designs. Much appreciated!

Matt looking on intensely as he explains his design

Now that the weekend has arrived we have a little time to reflect on our designs, let the feedback sink in and rest up to get right back at it on Monday. Good work guys!

- Jamieson Parker
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Day 9
'When your body is tired, exercise your mind'.
Thursday June 14th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Come to work everyday like as if it was the first time, this will prevent you from begin blinded by the routine."
Book of the day: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

With the week wrapping up this was our opportunity to jump into the final details for our designs. Today we all seemed focused in on all of the feedback from the last couple days, finding consistences then applying what we felt was the best solution for the problem. Making sure to take advantage of every opportunity as well as time.

Everyone getting down to business

Most of the day looked just like this picture, relatively quiet but work was getting done. Every now and then a couple guys would walk over to check out what other classmates were working on just to get some quick feedback or even give some.

Robbie and Aric having a quick brainstorm, people helping people is powerful stuff!

As the day progresses into lunch Dan works on his design using the light box, this is a helpful tool when needing to see every line through the paper.

The fellas

D'Wayne helping Bobby with his Skate shoe design

After lunch D'Wayne comes over individually to help give his feedback, this way we are crystal clear on the direction our designs need to go. I sure just like everyone else I take his feedback very serious, with all the knowledge he has this will only help make you a better designer, so you best listen up!

JP focused on finalizing his design

Tomorrow our designs need to be completed but not rendered yet, so this means every view of the design (Top Down View, Heel, Medial, Lateral and the Outsole) 

-Trevor Marley

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Day 8
'The Power of the Crowd'.
Wednesday June 13th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “If you find yourself on a dead-end street on your design work, don't be afraid to take a "U" turn and go the opposite direction.”
Book of the day: Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business, by Jeff Howe

Today marked the halfway point of the course, and the Adi Dassler standard could not fit any better. If you are stuck on your design direction, today is a critical point on the road to make big decisions, this is the last opportunity to take that "U" turn. 

 After a recap of the previous day, and a morning debrief, we began our day by looking at our work and to offer feedback and suggestions. Having fresh eyes look at our work is a huge benefit, and inviting members from other teams is very important because they will see things in your design you hadn't seen before. Starting the day this way created the mood for the day, we had many Adidas visiting designers stop by which resulted in great discussions.

Joel Bewley (team micoach) reviewing Nick Daiber's (team adipower) ice hockey skate design.

 In the morning, Adidas' footwear designer, Chris Padilla went around the room to give everyone feed back and suggestions to their designs. Chris brought a lot of knowledge from Adidas running, which helped us understand the foot motion in various activities.

 Aric Armon and Chris Padilla discussing footwear for the sport of boxing. 
Another Adidas designer who stopped by was Leon Gu. I was amazed at all the creative ideas Leon had about functionality and sports.
Leon showing Trevor ways to support the toe box for the marathon shoe he is designing.

Rolling in on his bike for a great surprise was Adidas basketball designer Nate Durflinger.
Jarron explains to Nate Durflinger some of the pressure points in cycling footwear.
 Thomas Le from Adidas baseball also stopped by to share his some of his knowledge.
 Thomas Le and are Brian looking at different outsole configuration.

We have had Adidas graphic designers and footwear designers come in, and today, Marty Merrill from Adidas football apparel brought a new design perspective.
 Marty Merrill and Nick Daiber discuss ways to improve the design of the ice hockey skate.

After great conversations with several Adidas designers we took the feedback and suggestions to revise the new designs. 
 Matt Shevitz posts some of his new design revisions to his windsurfing shoe.

D'Wayne Edwards and Aric Armon work on refining the proportions to boxing footwear.

The new design solutions from today's conversations will lead to stronger designs that will go forward, solidifying the performance facts needed to avoid a "U" turn. 
-Leo Ochoa
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Day 7
'If you're gonna play high stakes, you might as well go all in'-Berto
Tuesday June 12th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “If you're not in favor of new things, or trying new things, atleast do'nt be against them.”
Book of the day: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: 7 Steps to Genius Everyday, by Michael J. Gelb

The seventh day marked the second round of Ideation for the Pensole class. Taking what we have learned yesterday and applying it to make valid and structrued improvements is the focus here on out.

Berto droppin some knowledge

Class begins with Berto Herrera, Graphic Designer for NCAA football, coming in to tell us his unusual story of how he has become a designer working for Adidas. From the time he was 5 years old, Berto was always doing some sort of art, and he knew that it was always going to be something he had a passion for. This was put on hold, though, when Berto decided to join the air force and and get a degree in electrical engineering where he spent his time working on nuclear warheads and ICBMs for the military... absolutely insane. Later on he speaks of his times as a gallery owner and doing art here and there and ending up in LA working for an assortment of apparel companies. We asked him what made him come to Portland and his response was "for shits and giggles..." 

Some of the things we all walked away learning were:

- Be confident that what you're presenting is good... because it ought to be
- Prove your aesthetic and then fight for it
- Tell a good seamless story, so people will hop on to your ideas
- Know the answers before someone asks them
- Trends are pointless, make your own

Tim Meredith drawing inspiration from ancient shark fossils

Matt Walters SUPER excited about his 3D sketch

Throughout the day everyone continue to refine their designs and strip down their shoes to the bare essentials while combining elements to serve multiple functions continuing with the mantra of Precision, Reduction, and Logic.

Kohei Kanata stops by to give his well appreciated input

After another day of input, digesting information, and implementing solutions, it's time to once again, get back at it...

 -Aric Armon

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Day 6
'Pin-up or Shut up'
Monday June 11th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Be creative, independent, and take responsibility for your actions."
 Book of the day: You Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself. -Harry Beckwith

Today marked the first day of pin-ups in the inaugural Penole/adidas class. After taking a week for initial research and brief development we were ready to show our thinking how we like to do it most, through sketching. We spent most of the weekend working to organize our thought and put them on paper for our first critique.

The fellas laying a few final lines before pinning up

Being a collective of design students and graduates we spend more defending and analyzing our ideas than we do illustrating them. D'Wayne reassured us that as a designer in the footwear industry it was imperative that we able to do so effectively.

Today we were fortunate to have Todd and Ian from the adidas design team to go through everyone's design. Now we were able to get some early company perspective on our briefs and initial designs.

Todd Rolak and Ian Cobb come through to talk design
Hard at work

Taking the class through our designs
We've got questions, they've got answers

Time to get back at it
 After a full day of filtering we go back to the drawing board and prepare for another night of sketching and another day of critiques.

 -Marcellus Johnson

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Day 5
'Sketching Commences'
Friday June 8th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Any idea is worth more than no idea at all.”
Book of the day: It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be, by Paul Arden

And so, the adventure continues - we spent the first half of the day learning about the nitty-gritty details of how, as young designers, to get our foot in the door of the footwear industry.

First, we had to understand the difference between a good and a great designer, so that we could differentiate ourselves in the right way. Essentially, it’s like being a good vs. a great athlete. In both cases, a dedicated work ethic throughout one’s career is essential. Talent will only get you so far as a designer; you have to keep putting in the effort on a daily basis to improve yourself professionally and personally.

 D'Wayne kicking off the day with a recap of yesterday's key learning opportunities

After this, we discussed the details of what to expect as entry level designers in relation to hiring practices, corporate promotion practices, salary structure, etc. It was enlightening to hear directly from D’Wayne, an industry veteran, the realities of the current corporate structure in the footwear design industry.

With this in mind, we talked about how to properly set-up our resumes and portfolios so as to get selected for an interview. We then discussed how to ace that interview. An applicant should use the resume as an opportunity to brand himself, and to paint a picture with words. This is because resumes are often read before portfolios are viewed. We learned that portfolios should be concise, focused, and structured in a way to highlight an applicant’s specific skills. Every portfolio has to pass the “10-second test;” in a first round of portfolio viewing, screeners will often times only be able to spend 10-20 seconds on a given portfolio. If an applicant is lucky enough to get selected to be interviewed, the most important thing is that he research his interviewers - to be successful, he must know his audience.

 Student example of good project page layout

After this discussion, we took a break for lunch – Portland was its usual drizzly self. Fortunately, I’m a Portland native, so I’ve grown to love the region’s damp climate. As many Portlanders will attest, the sound of rain falling, to me, is the sound of home. It seemed like today, all of us took a pretty quick lunch, as we were anxious to dive into sketch ideation, having spent the last couple of days refining our design briefs. We spent about an hour after lunch getting into some sketching, and then Brian Bednarek, founder of MESH01, came by to pick our brains for future development ideas for his site.

 Brian Bednarek with student Joel Bewley

 Brian pitching future possibilities for competitions at MESH01

Later that afternoon, Dee Bell, apparel and technical designer at Adidas, arrived in the Pensole studio to talk with us. Currently, she’s working on the 2013 All Star Game retail line for the NBA and NCAA. One of the big things she emphasized was getting out there and not being afraid to talk to people. In her opinion, networking and building contacts is the most important aspect of trying to gain a foothold in the industry. With an increasing amount of young graduates coming into the workforce, Dee also stressed that young designers should be open to a wide variety of possible positions within the industry. Once you get in the door, it’s much easier to get to where you want to go within a company.

 Dee shares her insights from an accomplished career in apparel design

 D'Wayne and Dee

After Dee’s insightful presentation, we spent the rest of the afternoon delving into the world of graphite and paper. Some students also chose to create tape-up sketch models. With the weekend coming up, we were asked to create at least eight concepts/sketches by Monday morning.

 Students jumping into first stage of sketch ideation

With that in mind, I’ll leave you with the promise to reveal some photos of the first round of student sketches at the beginning of next week.

-Dan Birman

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Day 4
'@#$!*&@! Mind Blowing, The Future is Great'
Thursday June 7th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Be open minded, look towards the future."
Book of the day: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature' by Janine M. Benyus
       Day 4 and we still can't get enough! What can I say about today that doesn't include a four letter word?
       First off I am proud to be a part of this program and group.  Everything I have experienced, seen, and heard this week is the result of hard work and dedication.  D'Wayne is one of the most insightful and direct individuals you will ever meet.  I may never have the chance to experience this again and for that I say thanks D'Wayne, Lucy, and the entire Adidas team. 

       So lets get down to the days events. 

       This started out with a hello from that great dark rain cloud that rolls around Portland like hipster on a fixie.  But don't fret, the future is bright!  Just ask my fellow Pensolemates. 

       Today our project briefs went up on the wall.  Leave it to designers to create a problem that doesn't even exist yet. You thought that last pair of shoes you bought were perfect, but then you talked to a designer.  About two minutes into the conversation you begin to realize your feet hurt and your vertical jump must be short.   Shouldn't I be able to run faster?  Well chances are you have a $100 burning a hole in your pocket and these designers are about to take it! See for yourself. 

The Master instructing ninjas on their next attack.

Most of the morning was about research and refinement.

                                                             Google servers are probably melting right now.
Sky view

Portland never disappoints.  Today at lunch a guy passed by the windows and it instantly grabbed my attention.  Wheels on the toe of one shoe, and skid plates on his elbows.   I was too slow to snap a picture of this one. 

The second half of the day was pretty mind blowing. Steve Smith was our guest:

"Be bold and make it happen"  This is probably the best description of Steve’s work.  He taught me this at an early age.  How so, we just met him today?  Well at a young age I ran in a pair of shoes that were just that, bold in color with a neon yellow and red.  These shoes were beyond the norm.   Steve is the man who took that wild concept and made it happen!   Tell him it can't be done... go for it..  go on...  too late, its done!  

Steve has had a hand in some of the most iconic running shoes.  And there are some great stories to go with it.  @#$%#  colorful stories.  He isn't afraid of color! 

We learned that sometimes you just have to go into your garage and crank out a model.

One interesting story was about developing a specific material project.  It doesn't exist?  Let's make it!

Well I could go on and on.  Thanks Steve for sharing and inspiring us to be inventive!!!

So be open minded and look towards the future!


Joel Bewley

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Day 3
 'Industry Talks'
 Wednesday June 6, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Lead. Don’t Copy.”
Book of the day: 'Creativity'

Today started with more insight and advice from D’Wayne. It started with some questions from students, and turned into a small talk about where people want to get to in their career and some steps to take. He spoke about the different levels of a designer, and how over time certain requirements must be met in order to move up to the next level.  One quote he told us is that “Everybody Eats”, meaning lunch is usually the best time to meet with a person you want to in order to discuss anything important, like a career opportunity. Nobody will turn down a free meal, so if you ask someone to lunch, it is usually a good way to gain his or her respect and attention. While this is just a small part to reach success, it is a helpful tidbit.

We then shared our observations from our trip to the village the previous day. Everyone mentioned how nice and welcoming the people of Adidas were. Knowing how rare of an opportunity it was to spend an extended amount of time in the design area, I was surprised at what we got to see and what the designers shared with us. While I have gone through offices in the past, it was always a rush and you couldn’t really look around much. This time we not only got to look around, but the designers pulled things out that the public hadn’t seen yet and shared insight with us. As a designer this is always a special part, and many students mentioned how much more appreciation they gained for Adidas through this tour.

Later that morning, Adidas designer Ian Cobb came in to share his story and path to Adidas. Ian spoke to us about growing up as an Athlete, but being in love with art. Through a contest in college, he ended up with work from Wolverine, which allowed him to get a lot of work experience under his belt while still in school. Through patience and hard work Ian reached Adidas as an Intern and kept putting in the work to make a footprint within the company. After his story, Ian took question after question. There was probably an hour of questions alone.

When the questions ended, he ran through a sample project he did of a Climacool running shoe with a price of $78(the cheapest to date). It is always awesome to hear the process of a shoe from the designer himself. He showed us samples sketches and renderings of the project. We saw ideas he wanted to bring to retail, reasons some got shut down and solutions for those. I’m sure this was everyone’s favorite part, as all designers love to look at the eye candy and the sketches.

Ian STILL stayed for even more questions and to talk to some designers during lunch. We are all very thankful for Ian not only taking his time to share his story, but to stay as long as he did to answer all questions.

We ended the day with each student presenting their initial brief and the direction they want to take their project. This is always a good time to get insight and feedback from all. We not only receive it from D’Wayne who has been in the industry for a while, but from all the current students who have new views. Our homework was to refine our briefs from the feedback to print out tomorrow. It was another information packed day with more to follow!

- Brian Moughty
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Day 2
'The Village'
Tuesday June 5th

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Observe"
Book of the day: 'Strengths Finder by Tom Rath'

We arrived at class today anxious for our to visit the Adidas Village, but first we had to take care of some business.  We started the day by having D’Wayne teach us about “20 Bad Habits Designers Do and Have.”
  1. Not creating a design brief
  2. Spending too much time on the computer
  3. Not improving their sketch communication skills
  4. Not improving their verbal communication skills
  5. Not making a concept model because they were lazy or not wanting to get dirty
  6. Not understanding that the design is not theirs but the companies
  7. Getting too emotionally involved in their design
  8. Not being friends with your developer/engineering
  9. Not being friends with marketing
  10. Mistaking arrogance for confidence
  11. Forgetting industrial design requires multi-disciplinary skills
  12. Being disorganized in mind and space
  13. Poor time management
  14. Designing in a 3D program
  15. Forgetting to document your work
  16. Forgetting that there are cost impact to design decisions
  17. Forgetting that a presentation board is also a design element
  18. Over satisfied with first design
  19. Sketching the same design over and over again
  20. Forgetting the goal of design is to improve not just make something different

Number 20 sticks with me the most because I feel that is really the crux as a designer.  I mean what are we doing if we aren't bringing upon improvement what are we doing? After our lesson each group gave a short oral presentation of our initial thoughts around our project and then it was off to the Village. We started out with lunch followed by a general tour of the Portland Adidas Village:

The village was designed to symbolize the Olympic rings

Pictured below is a picture of the class taking it in:

Then we got to the fun part: inner workings of the design building.  We started our tour being led by Robbie Fuller.  We got a sneak peak of the some of the upcoming Adidas projects and eyes popped like a kid in the candy store.  However, the coolest part was the design insights and knowledge he dropped on us. He was able to give us tips that will help us to grow as designers. One of them was “ ...have confidence, if you don't know one will believe you.  Some of the best designers can just walk into the roo already wearing the shoe and just be like this is it.”Robbie told us it is hard work but, “If it’s your passion you wont have worked a day in your life.”

Sorry, no images here top secret. Just try to imagine.

After our being shown through the in-line design department we were sent on our way to the lab. Here Janet Griffin showed us the aIT Lab or should I say court where Adidas religiously test its products.  This was no ordinary court.  It was hooked up with pressure sensors and data that test and capture everything you could imagine.  As well it can be transformed into a field for cleated sports or a mondo surface for track. Adidas does not merely test their shoes they abuse them to make sure they are of the highest quality.

Our next stop was AdidasIT Desig.  This it the team that works on innovation product.  Most of them never even seen the light of day.  This is the top secret stuff.  “The Seal Team 6 of the design world” said John Acevedo. The designer who gave us the overview of AIT.  While we we not allowed to see the top secret projects John was able to explain to us the workings of AIT and show us a few of the anomaly projects that actually saw the light of day in some way shape or form.

Starting from right: Spike developed for Jeremy Wariner, not for sale.  The spike with 2 of the top 3 times in the 100m during the 2011 track season: The AdiZero Prime SP.  Released in small numbers.  Followed by the Prime Accelerator and Prime Finesse.  Spikes that show how the top 1% can affect the rest.  Lastly, the speed wrap the Derrick Rose uses came from AIT.  John is an example of making it in this industry without having an Industrial design degree.  He was an Architect. He said “Architecture wears you down...design has kept me young.  I have never done the same thing twice.”  He credits his architectural background for giving him a wide perspective and teaching him how to think.

We headed down to the model shop where Ronald Becker showed us all of the tools utilized when it comes time to bring a shoe to life. From 3D modeling software to the tools that print the models, and to the last shop where mock ups and then actual wearable prototypes can be made. As a designer it must be a huge asset for them to make their own in house models.  

We headed back upstairs to visit a few designers and just had a chance to talk to them about design and Adidas for a few minutes.  It was exciting to see them talk with such passion about what they love to do. Our visit to the village was concluded with a visit to the employed store. Our Pensole class managed to put a dent into the stock of the store. Hopefully someday we will be the ones who are making the shoes that go into the store.

Soak it up,

Nick Daiber
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‘Let the Footwear Games Begin’
Monday June 4th, 2012

Adi Dassler Standard of the Day: “Never stand still, always be willing to learn"
Book of the Day: 'Rules of the Red Rubber Ball'

             As myself and the other 14 aspiring footwear designers walked into D’Wayne Edwards newly renovated footwear design building, our jaws dropped and eyes widened. We knew right then and there that these next three weeks were going to be ones that would change our lives forever.

            Having D’Waynes PENSOLE building be our studio home is any footwear designers dream:

- footwear books ranging from sketches of famous concepts, to the origins of billion dollar companies
- shoes brought in by adidas and JORDAN shoes designed by D’Wayne himself spread throughout the entire building.
- huge design tables for individual work / team collaboration
- an entire materials library full of books and samples
- surround sound speakers to get the designers in the zone
- light table, printer and scanner
- an upstairs area with couches and a t.v. for those necessary design breaks
- a kitchen fully supplied with snacks and water for the day

aka, the perfect workspace for any designer

Day 1 started off with D’Wayne giving us a quick low down of the PENSOLE program, a brief outline of the amount of work we were about to be producing these next three weeks, and also how honored he was that adidas has teamed up with PENSOLE for the first time in school history. 

After this brief intro, Rob Lee and James Carnes, creative directors from adidas, came in to give us a quick overview of adidas and what the brand stands for. We learned where adidas came from, their beliefs on design/innovation and how much its grown over the years, yet how it has always stayed true to its roots.

One of the most interesting things we learned was how Adi Dassler, creator of adidas, stayed out of the publics eye and was 100% dedicated to his athletes.  It wasn’t until years later after one of his daughters gave adidas over 1500 notes about adi, that adidas truly knew who this man was and what his thoughts were on the brand that he created.  The slide in the presentation that stood out the most for me was the ‘5 benefits of Sports Performance’.  This slide illustrated the 5 different groups that all performance shoes fit into:

Faster; adizero
Stronger; adipower
Smarter; micoach
Cooler; climacool
Natural; adipure

After James and Rob's presentation, we were off to explore Portland and grab a bite to eat.

Once back at the building, small introductions were done to learn the basics about our new PENSOLE family.  It was great to see how much diversity we had amongst the 15 of; definitely lends itself to being a great environment to learn and grow from, not only as a footwear design, but an overall individual. 

Next came the part we were all anxiously awaiting: the brief!

I have been honored to be apart of two previous PENSOLE classes, but I can honestly say these briefs blew the other classes out of the water.  We were all placed into 5 groups of 3 people.  From there, one group at a time, we used an adidas footwear poster to select a decade ranging from the1920s-1990s, 3 different sports from that decade, and 1 of the 5 benefits of sports performance.  The catch was, not one group could have the same era or benefit, and not one person could have the same sport.

For my group, we selected the 1940’s, mi coach, and training/football/soccer.

D’Wayne lastly went over the structure of the first week and how it would be dedicated to designing a full brief for each project.  These briefs included 8 boxes that each individual design must travel through:

1. Brand
2. Activity
3. Consumer
4. Competition
5. Performance
6. Visual
7. Story
8. Materials

After briefs were explained, we were let out of class early, but as a PENSOLE alum, I knew that work for the day was far from over.  Flowing with ideas, my partners and I hit up a local coffee shop and had a 2 hour ‘blue-sky’ concept creation session.

Looking forward to day two: a trip to the adidas village, a small brief presentation, and of course, more research to further our concepts. 

See you tomorrow!

- Matt Walters