From Bits to Boots: Materializing Data

Get to ready make a giant leap into the future on October 25, as we present the next edition of FOOTWEARISM, our biannual symposium that makes footwear professionals broaden their horizon.


This time we are teaming up with Eindhoven University of Technology to celebrate a very special occasion: the presentation of Troy Nachtigall's PhD thesis on ultra-personalized footwear. (The official full title is: Materializing Data; A scaffolding of craftsmanship and technology for ultra-personalization)

The symposium will take place at Eindhoven University from 2-5 pm. 


It is very rare for someone to get a PhD in a footwear-related subject, and if they do, it is usually in the medical field. That is why this PhD is especially unique, since it focuses on merging craft and technology into an entirely new data-driven system for designing, manufacturing, distributing and using footwear in a continual loop that keeps optimizing itself. It is a system that could be applied to various products, but as you will find when you join the symposium, footwear has specific traits that make it especially suitable for this positively disruptive approach.


Troy will be joined by several other international speakers that will each look at the long-term data-driven future of footwear from a different perspective. They will be announced in the coming weeks. Even though this edition of FOOTWEARISM will have a strong technological component, our speakers will certainly not all come from a technological background and not even necessarily from a footwear background. In fact, a lot of the needed technology and footwear knowledge is already available, the biggest future shifts will have to be cultural and legal.


FOOTWEARISM II will take place during Dutch Design Week, the largest and most directional design festival on the planet. We organise a curated tour for footwear professionals on Wednesday and Thursday, October 23 and 24, the days before the symposium. Please click here for more information. 




You can register through the Paypal button below, grab the Early Bird price before September 30!

 If you prefer to pay by bank then just send us an email at [email protected]

Ticket options

Confirmed speakers (more will follow soon...)

PHD Research Fellow, Eindhoven University of Technology

Troy spent the past four years researching and developing a highly advanced system for ultra-personalized footwear as part of his PhD thesis, combining AI with new manufacturing technologies and disruptive business models.  He will kick off the day by sketching a future that could turn the entire industry upside down...

Digital Strategy Director at

Jelle is an expert in advance Artificial Intelligence applications specifically for the fashion industry. He will give an outline of the current technological limitations of AI for footwear and how these might shift in the future.

Partner, Bird & Bird

Manon is a highly experienced IP lawyer with a special interest in the field of design and technology. She will review where technological developments and international law might clash and what could be potential solutions.

Expert on Mechanical Meta Materials for Footwear

Davide graduated from TU Eindhoven last year with a groudbreaking footwear project that shows how the use of mechanical meta materials can revolutionize both the functionality and the aesthetics of footwear.


In 2018 we recorded this interview with Troy for our Design Summit in Los Angeles. At the FOOTWEARISM II conference he will present his final results and recommendations