Designer Hita Wangse Rudira stands as a visionary artist whose creativity knows no bounds. The mastermind behind the ANTA – TERRAN AWR – (ALL WEATHER READY) Project, Hita has not only claimed the coveted title of the Global Footwear Awards 2023 Best Overall Winner but has also reshaped the narrative of futuristic design with a profound focus on the Earth’s ecosystem.
The journey began with Anta’s forward-thinking footwear design competition in 2021, themed around the future and the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystem. Hita Wangse Rudira passionately advocates for swift and consistent action to preserve the environment, weaving innovation seamlessly into her designs. Envisioning a future where natural disasters reshape our existence, he underscores the paramount importance of attuning ourselves to nature’s wisdom and responding with ingenuity.
In this exclusive interview, Hita Wangse Rudira unravels his professional journey, design philosophy, and the captivating narrative behind the ANTA – TERRAN AWR – (ALL WEATHER READY) Project, offering a glimpse into the mind of a designer who seamlessly combines artistry, functionality, and environmental consciousness.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey?
My name is Hita Wangse, you can call me Hita. I am a footwear designer who began my journey in this industry in 2014 with an internship at one of the leading sportswear brands in Indonesia, League Sportswear. Since then, the fun journey started. I also met many senior designers who guided me from the beginning until today. Currently, I am working in Surabaya City, Indonesia, for Ardiles International, a specific division that focuses on the international market. I have connected with many brands from across the world, including France, Norway, the UK, Germany, the USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Spain, Japan, the Philippines, etc. Building a network while developing my skills and upgrading my creativity with design solutions has made me what I am today. I believe, no end is being a designer because problems always come up and we are making the solution.
How did the design come to have such an important role in your life?
Since I was 4 years old, I always accompany my father in painting in his studio. Sometimes I observe how he works with his brush, rotating the canvas, mixing the oil color, and even sleeping beside his painting. Then I learn through paper and pen, simple as that. Drawing everything in a realist mindset, almost every day. Then I started being surrealist because I loved reading manga, drawing short-story manga at 8 years old, drawing characters, and so on. So my family is already in an art / creative environment. The only painter in my family even a big family is only my father. Since then, I made a promise to myself that I would live through my passion for drawing and found out footwear design is my way to bridging my hobby in basketball and drawing. Starting by bridging design and sports, then I found a new vision in designing footwear now, to make my colleagues/stakeholders happy through my work and the products I design have a good impact on the user.
Is there a philosophy, a vision, or a special process that influences your design?
My lecturer said there are levels of problems in our environment which are divided into three questions, What, How, and Why. And the highest level is “why”. So my design philosophy is always trying to answer the “Why” question to get a better version of solutions. When I can answer the “why” it will include “What” and “How”. For the technical part, I always try to do it the fundamental way, by sketching. Pen and paper, digital sketch, even pen, and my palm sometimes. A lot of sketching while listening to music and just sitting alone. Sometimes coffee can be a booster.
What is your inspiration behind ANTA – TERRAN AWR – (ALL WEATHER READY)?
In my Terran AWR design, I just start by imagining something outside human calculation of our future. Through my design, I am trying to imagine in our future there is no “futuristic life” as we admire the progress of technology now. Start with the imagination of “What If” our earth rejects and declines our “futuristic way of life” because we hurting the earth and it giving us an apocalypse all over the world. As a footwear designer, I imagine people will come back to a fundamental way of life, and on of it is by walking/running. With unpredictable contour and climate post-apocalypse, I am trying to redefine what is the most durable and effective to create supportive shoes. I predict 3D printing is in our lifestyle, people make things with 3D Print and there will be so many broken / used materials caused by the apocalypse such as used tires or other rubber. My design is to combine the most future in that moment (that still works) and the easiest process that humans can do post-apocalypse without causing huge damage to the earth, recycling.
Which designers do you admire the most? Do you take inspiration from their work when diving into a new project?
I have high respect for many designers across the globe and not only designers. There is no specific person for it. All designers even junior designers are inspired by me. Not always the person, the process, or the result of the products they create. Their passion, uniqueness, and integrity can inspire me. For example, I admire a person such as Salehe Bembury, Raka Gemma, and Gagaswara as designers, also the famous Akira Nakai in his work ethic and creativity in customizing a car. Anyone can inspire me even the great Ibn Battuta. But most of all is my father, my guide in being creative since I was a kid. I absorb anything from them, how the way they think, work, presentation, calculation, intuition, etc. For a new project, inspiration can come from their work but is not limited to. It always depends on the brief of the project.
What does winning the Global Footwear Awards mean to you?
Actually, in 2023 I was selected two times with 3 categories winner. It is always meaningful to be acknowledged and selected as a winner in such a high-level of footwear event. My Family appreciates my winning with happiness and my mother shares through everywhere, it is so funny. While she said my father will be proud from heaven. It motivates me to be the best of who I am every time. The last two awards categories, with my Terran AWR design entry, hopefully, will inspire many people not only designers because of my insight, imagination, and story behind the design. Or maybe will be developed in the future. It is manufacturable.
What are you working on at the moment? Anything you can share about your upcoming design?
Currently many projects on my desk, designing and assisting brands for 2024. Maybe I will just say that this year will be more into fashion/lifestyle projects coming up. Excited about the releases of brands I assist in starting the product line.