2022 AWARD FINALIST
Sponsored by Auckland Council
While studying industrial design at Massey University, Rik Olthuis spent his Honours project exploring the qualities of biodegradable materials and their application in the construction of footwear.
Through this project he designed the Voronoi Runner, a fully compostable sneaker combining material developments and the latest technologies. The aim was to leave no trace through considering the whole product lifecycle, including end of life.
Rik aims to combine biodegradable materials with a tailored 3D printing fit and a construction that can be disassembled with ease. The project uses techniques such as localised production, zero waste manufacturing, residential composting, manageable disassembly and customised orthopedics.
Rik has been recognised and awarded the James Dyson design and engineering award for 2020, NZ and AUS Circular Design Award 2021 and the Global Footwear Overall Sustainability Award 2021.
Since then, Rik has been in communication with major brands about furthering his work in the sustainable footwear space. Rik is now the Footwear Innovator and Designer at New Zealand start-up company YY Nation. The company launched its first footwear range in November 2021 with the world's lowest carbon footprint sneaker.