Nathan Domingos ’20 engages art, business interest at custom footwear internship
Interned with: Scandic Footwear in Burlington, Mass.
Supported by: Trustee Scholarship
Major: Studio art
Soleful work: “Scandìc Footwear specializes in custom, handmade clogs. I’ve always loved shoes. My parents say it’s an obsession; I call it a borderline addiction. So, to be able to work with something I love meant the world to me. Also, as an aspiring industrial designer, shoes serve as a perfect model for the more general field of industrial design. Combining functionality and comfort with style and artistic appeal, shoes challenge designers like me to come up with solutions that have to address every angle of the design problem. …The fact that this internship was at a small business meant a great deal to me. Not only did I want to help a business grow and become more successful, I wanted to learn what it means to run a small business from the owner himself, so that I can apply what I learn to a future business endeavor.”
On the right path: “This internship is the first stepping stone for what is to come. I wanted to test the waters with shoe design and hands-on industrial design, and challenge the skills I’ve learned in my classes, while gaining a few new ones. Now that I’ve experienced this, I’m hooked on the prospect of industrial design and will continue to pursue classes and higher-level internships that will challenge my abilities.”
Walking the talk: “Making clogs is a doozie. No easy task. Every angle, staple, stroke of sandpaper on the wooden bottoms has an impact on the overall shoe. I learned how to make a clog entirely on my own from scratch and almost entirely by hand and was tasked with designing a new model for the fall season, which will be available to customers. …One of my first tasks was to make my own pair, which I wore every day to work. They felt a little weird as I’m used to sneakers, but they made really great workwear and walking shoes because they were really supportive and comfortable.”
Solid footing: “I learned the importance of the details in everything I make; how to approach design from all angles (visual, financial, audience, physics) to have my ideas be heard; and I learned that the only way I’d end up being happy with my life is to follow my passion and pour myself into it. Now that I’m back on campus this fall, I not only have a new bag of tricks I can use on my various academic projects and extracurricular pursuits, but also a different perspective and mentality for my work and what it means. I will be able to approach problems both more creatively and pragmatically, to produce solutions that not only solve the problem, but have aesthetic value and a sense of practicality, which will help my solutions become reality, rather than stay on paper.”
Nathan Domingos ’20 is a member of the Wheaton men’s soccer team and was previously a sculpture studio assistant.