During her last year at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota, Carolina Porras, an Industrial Design major decided to create a pair of roller skates as part of her final project. As a devout member of the Rock and Roller Queens roller derby team, she broke her leg in practice and had some time to reflect on what makes a good pair of skates. Carolina wanted to design a product that not only looked and felt good, but could also be made in Colombia as most athletes must import skates at a hefty cost.
I met Carolina at the International Footwear and Leather Show in Bogota and was impressed by her strategic and scientific process. She told me that she began her assignment by researching the footwear and sportswear industry in Colombia to understand the market and resources available. Then, working with members from various teams, she conducted biomechanical and comfort analyses to gain insight and feedback prior to even designing the skates.
Creating comfortable skates that offered the utmost in mobility were her two priorities. To do this, Carolina worked with a podiatrist to create a breathable and supportive insole as most skates were just plain harsh on the body. She included important design details that like a v-notch on the Achilles heel for movement and ankle support and made boots with an inner lining to decrease friction and lessen injuries to the skin.
Without compromising design, she was able to create a killer pair of royal purple skates that stood out, and offered a fresh new look to the category. Carolina told me that after graduation she plans to create a line of roller skates not only for the Rock and Roller Queens, but hopefully for the teams in Colombia and beyond.
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