Shuhei Hasado engages our senses by appropriating the traditional geta sandal and giving it a nature makeover.
Once again, from the land of Japan, we have a designer producing thought provoking and conceptually interesting designs. Shuhei Hasado is a traditional Japanese plasterer born in 1962 in Takayama. By the age of 21 he had already placed first in the1983 Japanese Plastering Olympics and for the first part of his design career he did a lot of plastering design for residences, storehouses, tea houses and hotels. But as he has developed he has become more involved in exploring new techniques with natural materials and has been more involved in art. Which is where his getas come in.
A Shuhei Hasado geta design
Shuhei Hasado, along with 21 other designers and architects came together for an exhibition and were asked to design objects that focused on the sense of touch. The exhibition was put together by the designer Kenya Hara and he named it ‘Haptic: Awakening the Senses’ in an attempt to bridge the gap between technology and feeling. The designers stepped up to the challenge and produced an array of very interesting and quirky objects. Part of the exhibition were lamps made out of long hair, a coaster that seemed to have tadpoles swimming inside of it, a ‘breathing’ remote control that hardens when touched, hand paper towels that look and feel like snake skins, getas that grow moss and many more. Print magazine has a short summary of the exhibition and what the designers did and also goes more into the curators work, to go to the article click here. Kenya Hara also has a book called Designing Design that includes all the deigns in it along with many more conceptual works.
wall of getas
Shuhei Hasado took this opportunity to cover a wall in pairs of traditional Japanese getas, but with a twist . In these designs he has incorporated the sense of touch by changing the surface where your barefoot would make contact with the sandal. He has replaced the upper sole with things such as moss, grass, wood, white ash, twigs and pine needles. Its designed in a way that makes the wearer feel like they aren’t wearing shoes but but are in fact barefoot walking through nature.
All of these different textures would be quite a shock to the senses because one of a shoes functions is to separate the feelings of such textures with its sole, but here Shuhei Hasado is just placing it on the sole, forcing you to feel it.
Through this design he is realigning our focus to the earth and our natural surroundings. As mentioned before one of the exhibitions aims was to bridge the gap between technology and feeling. As the world becomes more urban, people are able to embrace nature because it is replaced by technology. These getas would allow the person to feel nature again simply by merging things that your barefoot would walk on into the sole of a shoe (the thing our feet probably spend to much time on).
Forgetting the lack of practicality of these sandals, they are very conceptually clever and a great example of how design can affect our senses and feelings and thoughts