Functional style enters a new dimension: Puma´s innovative X-CAT DISC is based on the legendary BMW GINA Light visionary model.
In 2008 BMW Group Design introduced the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model – a concept car with a seamless fabric outer shell, consisting of a flexible material stretched over a movable substructure where functions were only enabled when actually needed. This interpretation of familiar functional and structural concepts boldly questioned the philosophy of car design.
Now GINA is the inspiration force behind a creative collaboration between Designworks and Puma that has resulted in the X-Cat DISC, the latest edition of Puma´s DISC footwear franchise. Designworks, a BMW Group subsidiary, was tasked to be the nexus between the partners and to lead the design process for the
development of this visionary shoe. “The approach was to look at every aspect of making a shoe and try to reimagine it. Freeing yourself of what is here now can be an enjoyable and rewarding exercise, typically it also speeds up change”, says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.
Starting points for this innovation project were the flexible, ergonomic and lightweight GINA material as well as Puma´s reinvented, lighter and faster operable DISC technology, a system that instead of laces works with a rotating disc that pulls internal wires to close and open the shoe.
One thin layer of stretchable GINA material wraps around the foot like a second skin.
The sole design, inspired by interconnecting gears, provides engineered flexibility and interlinked stability.
Fine laser cut perforations flow across the upper underlining the impression of motion while adding ventilation.
The X-CAT DISC is about essential character, lightweight, adaptability and performance. In the spirit of GINA the designers perceived the foot as a kind of chassis in itself: re-engineering the original automotive material to ensure it is breathable and durable to fit the needs of a shoe. Automotive design thinking reveals itself when looking at the proportions that make the material shine and by the simplicity of the design which avoids a competition of the material with too many other design features. Another template drawn from the original GINA concept is the functional aesthetics of revealing the structure underneath when tightening the shoe.