Footwear comfort is a complex subject that has only started to be studied by several researchers and research and technology institutes in the last two decades. Our project will approach footwear comfort according to dimensional fitting, plantar mechanical comfort and sustainability.
The specific objectives of the current project are listed below:
• Incorporation of comfort and sustainability in product life-cycle. Product life-cycle is a subject well documented in academic textbooks. The available documentation will be studied and revised and comfort and sustainability parameters will be included during the design process. Training material will be developed that will reflect the new life-cycle paradigm and the associated technologies.
• Analysis of the parameters that affect footwear quality with respect to sustainability, comfort and performance. Both dimensional fitting and plantar comfort parameters will be analysed. Material properties, design processes and technologies and manufacturing techniques will be considered in terms of functionality, performance and final product sustainability. This study will provide the necessary scientific background for the establishment of new qualifications for the designers and production managers of the footwear sector.
• To stimulate the collaboration of higher education and research institutes with companies in order to jointly develop new learning and teaching methods centred on learners and real problem-based scenarios, as well as solutions for challenges and problems affecting the footwear sector.
• Utilization of existing state-of-the-art technologies and computer-based tools for the determination of footwear comfort parameters using human biomodels and simulation scenarios. Outcomes of previous projects and state-of-the-art design, 3D scanning and prototyping technologies will be utilized to provide practical training material to current and future footwear designers and production managers.
• Refining and improving the curricula for the professions of Footwear Designer and Production Manager. The future shoe designer should be able to creatively use computer-based tools and technologies for the design of high quality sustainable footwear, with increased comfort properties and aesthetics. Similarly, a production manager should be familiar with all the main aspects that influence shoe quality including the role of materials and manufacturing technologies in product performance. The new qualifications will be proposed to national institutions for accreditation.
• Provision of the produced accredited “educational package” to the allied Universities as complementary material for the enrichment of their current undergraduate or graduate programmes. The produced modules will be accredited according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), which is widely adopted byEU countries and Universities. The modules will provide a minimum of 2 credits to the participating students (after evaluation) as part of their diploma supplements.
• Organization of 5 joint seminars/workshops on five partner countries with 100 trainees/participants coming from the industry and/or universities. The effort associated to these seminars for students is estimated to at least 2 ECTS. During these joint seminars/workshops training courses will be implemented and followed by practical workshops where shoe designers will develop new product concepts based on the new qualifications. These concepts will be reviewed by industry participants. The last (ninth) seminar will take place in Greece that will also demonstrate the results of all previous seminars.
• Organizing a Mobility Action with 12 students and 8 mentors/ staff from partners.