Member for

4 years




KASK School of Arts Gent

Short bio

Catherine Willems, a design anthropologist, combines her work as designer, lecturer and researcher. She is based at KASK / School of Arts, Ghent. With an educational background in Comparative Cultural Sciences at Ghent University (BE) and Footwear Design at Ars Sutoria in Milan (IT), Willems’ PhD brought together biomechanics, anthropology and design sciences. She explores the relation between materials, skills and design methods in various communities and questions the conventional thinking on design, production and creativity. Inspired by the convergence of traditional wisdom and modern technology Willems has embarked on a follow up study, Future Footwear 2.0, which aims to bring sustainable production and individual needs closer together through 3D printing. Early 2017 she founded ‘Future Footwear Foundation’ to scale up global activities and sustain the convergence beyond term-limited research. The foundation stands for creating footwear that is sustainable for body and environment and fosters collaborations between artisans, students, and synergistic units in academia and private sectors around the world.

Field of expertise

design, anthropology, biomechanics, footwear, methodology, new technology

Working Group

WG4: Implementation: support, adoption, exploitation