Dominic Wilcox is a British designer who looks for innovations in the banal nature of mundane things. His creations oscillate between contemporary art, craft and industrial design. Since 2002 he has worked on major art and design commissions for organizations such as Nike, Vipp and Esquire. Wilcox’s latest commission for the Global Footprint Project in Northamptonshire–a ceremonial county in the East Midlands region of England, historically recognized for its footwear–was to build a GPS shoe.
He drew inspiration for this project from Dorothy’s ruby slippers in the film The Wizard of Oz: with a click of the heels and the phrase, “there’s no place like home”, Dorothy (Judy Garland) is magically transported back home to Kansas. Wilcox partnered with Stamp Shoes in Northamptonshire for the bespoke design of the product, and Becky Stewart provided the technological expertise to materialize the novel idea.
Wilcox’s concept is straightforward: a GPS device embedded in the heel of the shoe is activated by a simple click of the heels. You can upload a destination onto the shoe through mapping software and a USB cable. The bespoke leather footwear synchronizes the data via wireless connection. The left shoe indicates the correct path with mini LED lights for each of the four cardinal directions and their intermediate points; and the right shoe indicates distance through a linear meter that glows green on arrival. Get ready to see more people looking down at the ground when they walk, but hopefully not when they drive. ■