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Behind the Design

Space Hippie Prototypes

We knew we had to step up in a way we’d never done before to reimagine what’s possible in our product lifecycle. We diverted our factory scraps from landfills and waterways, spun yarn from a heap of recycled materials and started to turn manufacturing waste into new shoes. This process first came to life inside the Nike Innovation Kitchen, where we came together to cook up crazy new concepts and leave our comfort zone behind. To take Space Hippie from a cool idea inside our heads to a great shoe on our feet, we moved from the drafting board and started playing with prototypes. We pioneered new ways to design for a new world. It made us feel like mad scientists at play in a futuristic lab.
We channeled Bill Bowerman, who we affectionately dubbed the original Space Hippie, because of his on-the-fly DIY design practices—like pouring rubber into waffle irons. This phase of the process was all about taking the craziest ideas we could dream up and seeing how they would perform in real life. In the end, each Space Hippie model was made from 25-50% recycled materials.

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