Stacks

Abhishek Swaminathan

Storing shoes in the entryway is often associated with compact modules in benches. Removing the boundary constraints of benches and using the vertical space in a house in addition to the horizontal gives shoe storage more relevance. Stacks is a modular shoe storage system with each module fitting on top of another. Loll material is washable and extremely durable, making it ideal to use for shoe storage. The “snap fits” designed by Loll enable stacking without the use of any hardware. The addition of a color palette enhances the visual appeal of Stacks. It helps you store your shoes in a neat, fun, and organized manner.

Inspiration

Massimo’s unigrid system is revolutionary. It has become a gold standard for today’s graphic designers and I was amazed by its practicality and ingenuity. I wanted to incorporate this system into my product idea. I started using the idea of a simple bench with the shoe storage modules present in a grid like pattern in the bench. I wanted these modules to operate like pull out draws making it easier for the user.

They say, “Charity begins at home.” I looked at my own apartment and realized this urgent need to store our shoes in a neat and organized manner. I live in a split level apartment, with the entryway at a lower level separated from the living area by a staircase. I observed that all of us in the house used the stairway as a bench while wearing our shoes. I also wanted to save space and utilize the vertical area in addition to the horizontal space available. So, I decided to do away with the bench and concentrate on a stackable shoe storage that would still maintain the essence of Massimo’s unigrid system.

The presentation by Greg Benson from Loll was interesting. He had expressed his desire for us to use the “snap fits” joinery designed by him for his products. It reminded me of the Legos and I wanted to fit it into my design somehow. I wanted to essentially develop a system wherein the user did not have to use any hardware to put them together and yet maintain structural integrity.

Research

Once I had this idea conceptualized, I began working on whatever little research that was required to start prototyping it. I looked at the most popular shoe sizes in the American market, as this was Loll’s primary market.

I also looked more into the way things such as milk crates and shoe/packaging boxes were stacked. Cardboard prototypes proved to be a big help with this as they gave me a sense of scale. They were also easy to prototype quickly.

Process