Inspired by contemporary art, natural phenomena, and science-fiction, footwear designer Polina Krichko and CG artist Yaroslav Svyatykh created the short animation ‘Eidos’, telling the tale of a sneaker evolving through different stages of transformation in a futuristic world. We follow the journey of the sneaker—merging with rocks, sinking in water, and floating in the air alongside fluid, metallic elements—in a beautifully produced animation that has a sharp and clean hyper-reality to it. It attempts to explore speculative futures by visualizing the interaction between the object and its environment. “Our research led us to create a whole amusement park with different locations, operating by their own rules,” Yaroslav tells Collide24. “While wandering through these locations, the sneaker goes through different stages of its evolution. Although we built a linear narrative at first, we then decided to deconstruct and reorder it to create a new, dynamic interplay between visuals and sound.”
Named after the Greek term ‘Eidos’—which loosely translates as ‘form’ or ‘idea’ next to its additional specialized philosophical meanings attributed to Plato—the animation concentrates almost exclusively on the visual aspects, without giving too much thought to functionality. “We were just fantasizing about future scenarios, building a world around the sneaker as the main actor,” Polina explains. “This exploration of speculative concepts shows that the interpretation of the foreseeable future is not rigid. Instead, it’s constantly changing and transforming.” Inspired by contemporary artists, like Pakui Hardware, Nikolás Lamas, Joachim Coucke, and Emir Šehanović, the duo experimented with materials and textures, often mixing analog and digital techniques.
The sneaker as the main object in the animation seems to make a statement about contemporary society. “I’m thinking a lot about the fast-moving nature of trends nowadays. I can’t help but reminisce about the old times,” Polina says, “when people picked items thoughtfully and held onto them for decades. Today, society became so consumeristic that the average person buys a few pairs every season, or, at least every year—myself included. The vast number of sneaker designs out there is proof of that.” As with any other type of garment—or possibly any other object—sneakers are meaningful and symbolic entities, a form of self-expression. “While fashion in general and footwear, in particular, are landmarks of our culture, I’m sad to see how consumerism has shaped our culture and society: the cult of brands, the overvaluing and collecting of rare items,” Yaroslav explains. “However, I like to think of footwear as a canvas. Never before in history has footwear been used as a form of self-expression to this extent.”
While she has now found her niche in the footwear industry, Polina’s career path has not been without its bumps, making her question her choice a couple of times. Ever since that moment when she started experimenting with materials and making sneakers by hand, she has been fascinated by the endless possibilities. “I have tons of ideas! I can’t stop until I make them happen,” she tells us excitedly. Now the Moscow-based experimental footwear designer utilizes a broad spectrum of materials like recycled textiles and dead-stick items. By borrowing methods and tools from CGI software and turning digital images into tangible objects, she reflects on the current global situation while exploring concepts of the future at the same time. “I’m driven by pure curiosity. I like to try different things and easily get inspired and fall in love with ideas, concepts, new tools.”
Ever since his childhood, Yaroslav has been fascinated by photography and cinema, which later awakened his interest in design and CGI. Today, the Moscow-based artist and art director works in the fields of fashion, music, product design, and real-time computer graphics. He creates immersive digital environments playing with the contrast between illusion and reality. “CG offers a lot of flexibility, freedom, and room for experimentation,” Yaroslav tells us about his practice. “While my style evolves over time, it is important for me to continue to experiment, to push things forward, to improve.”
The two designers met on Instagram and decided to start collaborating. Despite coming from different backgrounds and disciplines, they unite over shared interests and ideas. “All that matters is the story you want to tell. Polina and I are speaking about similar things,” Yaroslav explains, “but in different languages—and these languages are our mediums. The key is to find a common story.” Citing “fun” and “nourishing” as the keywords that best describe their working process, the duo enjoyed combining their different skillsets and seeing their work from a new perspective. “In general, I’m a huge proponent of collaborative work. In footwear design, it is almost impossible to launch a project without a team of professionals behind it,” Polina states. “It gives you a huge boost of motivation to work in bigger and more diverse teams. Both of us have grown throughout this process. Now we plan to collaborate on other ideas that have emerged while working on ‘Eidos’. This excitement for the future is priceless.”