STRUNG is an entirely new way of creating a textile that is specifically aimed at making high performance footwear uppers. The process can not be classified as neither knitting nor weaving allowing for multi directional specificity without the constraints of the weft and loft logic of conventional textiles.
The fully integrated design and manufacturing environment allows us to create a lightweight upper where each thread is strategically placed for a seamless, lightweight fit. The STRUNG process codes in functionality at the exact spot where the athlete needs it within a single piece of material, free from inhibiting excess component or seams.
Working with and for adidas FUTURE, the secretive multidisciplinary R&D arm of adidas, KRAM/WEISSHAAR have designed, engineered and built the software and hardware tools that enable the design, engineering, prototyping and production of STRUNG uppers. The project happened in record time: hardware and software were created in less than a year in a series of rapid iterations building on top of amazing groundwork by the adidas team and leveraging the extensive KRAM/WEISSHAAR code base developed for BREEDING TABLES, OUTRACE and ROBOCHOP.
The software behind STRUNG delivers the deep knowledge of the brand at the designer's fingertips. The STRUNG interface incorporates athlete data and sport science insights drawn from the adidas Athlete Intelligence Engine as well as advanced simulation tools and projects them into a virtual work space. The knowledge of the many experts involved in the development of the materials, patterns and components is translated into actionable code that facilitates immediate product creation and manfacturing. The resulting physical sample is placed onto the designers' desk within minutes.
This project reimagines multi disciplinary collaboration in the 21st century. Built as a lightweight and ultra compact micro factory the FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG robotic cell features a series of proprietary hardware and software inventions that facilitate close human-robot interaction. Three units working across different continents enable non-stop development - and provided an edge in times of COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
The FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG shoe is the pacecar for this technology. With the ADIDAS 4D tooling and STRUNG upper it combines the brand's latest and most powerful high-resolution creation technologies to produce the industry’s first entirely data-driven footwear for a specific runner profile:
short-distance training runs at 5m/s or faster.
The upper has a lightweight cocooned feel and fit, locking the heel to prevent slip, with stiffer and stronger red threads placed at the midfoot, toe-box, and heel, and suppler yellow threads in the forefoot for flexibility. These threads blend each of those features together within the material to provide precise fit and support through the gait cycle.
The all new midsole features a new shape to cater for forefoot strikers. The heel has been minimized to remove weight and the rubber outsole is specifically engineered to provide traction just where needed.
One of the first complete running shoes made in STRUNG
Sampling melting out ares to create stiffness - full 360 approach trialled.
Stiffer yarns in heel - collar construction trials.
Stiffer yarns in heel - collar con- struction trials - lacing trials.
Eyestay trials, construction trials - mule eva tooling for heel lift.
Trialling larger yarns in heel, lacing constructions.
Refining FC recipe - eva mule to test cutting heel material away.
Refining FC recipe - eva mule to test cutting heel material away - alternate construction trials for heel fit.
Alternate materializations - branding explorations - recipe refinement.
Hand cutting 4D for shaping.
Hand cutting 4D for shaping - outsole trials - recipe and color refinement.
Close to final 4d part and outsole - recipe refinement.
Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram with Julian Schulz, Michael Reiner, Andreas Eckl, Thomas Landrichter, Chris Buck, David Brunnbauer, Henrik Mattsson, Andriy Bohdan, Khashayar Naimanan, Daniel Weber, Benjamin Chang, Polina Slobodchikova, Hunter O'Brian Doyle, Freya Birminham
Jon Munns, Bob Kirk, Carl Arnese, Andrea Nieto, Fionn Corcoran-Tadd & Matteo Padovani, Benjamin Kleiman, Elise Hall, Thomas Feix, Clemens Dyckmans, James Tarrier, Nicholas Groeneweg, Ian Hennebery, Fano Razafindrakoto, Reuben Bligh, Korbinian Berner, Tom Elvidge, Grace Chang, Steve Brimble, Miriam Eirich & Christoph Walter