Nike’s Intriguing Experiments in Architectural Ideas, Projects and Jobs | News
What do the Center Pompidou and the Bauhaus have in common? Beyond their seismic impact on 20th and 21st century architectural discourse, the two have actually served as inspiration for Nike Air Max sneaker releases.
In 2019, the global sports retailer launched the Air Max 270 React, whose bold colors paid homage to the influential Bauhaus movement. A year prior, a special edition Air Max with colored tubing along the seams and fabric lines was released as a tribute to the Center Pompidou. The homage wasn’t without reason, given that the original Air Max 1 was itself inspired by the designer’s visit to the Pompidou, most notably the shoe’s signature air bubble element.
The Bauhaus and Pompidou versions of the Air Max are part of Nike’s longstanding use of architectural principles and elements to highlight and evolve its brand. Several projects commissioned by Nike were featured on Archinect in the past, like their Olson Kundig-designed LeBron James Innovation Center for prototyping and research, or their innovative approach to flagship stores in New York and Shanghai.
Beyond Nike’s direct engagement with architecture and buildings through showrooms and research facilities, there are more unexpected intersections. In 2020, the brand’s Space Hippie shoe collection was released, which was created using scrap materials from Nike factories. Meanwhile, in 2018, Nike transformed a historic Chicago church into a basketball court for local high schools, working with UK-based company Storey Studio to create an industrial yet eclectic indoor environment.
Arguably the brand’s most acclaimed collaboration with architecture and design figures came in 2019, when Nike collaborated with the late Virgil Abloh at the NikeLab Chicago Re-Creation Center. Celebrating sustainability and experimental design, the project’s carefully choreographed interior was designed by Abloh to encourage young people to visit the store to imagine their own future in shoe design.
Nike’s emphasis on architectural thinking has also translated into job opportunities. In one of the first editions of our Job Highlights series, we featured a Global Retail Designer position at Nike/Jordan Brand based in Portland, Oregon. This week, we return to the brand as part of the same series to highlight a vacancy at Nike for a computer designer.
Based in Beaverton, Oregon, the role would see the successful candidate join Nike’s NXT Digital Innovation Team, which Nike says “provides a competitive advantage to our creative teams by fueling innovation and craftsmanship of products”. As the team emphasizes innovative technologies and skills as part of its workflow, the vacancy calls for candidates with expertise in 2D and 3D product design and design software. computer science.
The full job advertisement is available at Jobs at Archinect here. Stay tuned for future organized employment highlights and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more exciting opportunities on Archinect’s industry-leading job site. Recent editions of our Job Highlights series have seen career opportunities for modular home designers, model makers at BIG and exhibit designers at the Met.