Mikhaila Thornton

I am true believer of an interdisciplinary approach to life, love and design. When I
was traveling in Peru and Nicaragua on a research trip, I got to know some extremely
talented master shoemakers from who I really learned to understand the importance
of dedicating oneself to becoming a master in many trades, skills and relationships. 
Pursuing a varied life led these shoemakers to become best in their town, and 
sometimes even one of the best in the world.

I call myself a designer, because everything I do, learn and pursue in life is always 
expressing itself in creative solutions to problems I see in the world around me. 
There is so much enjoyment in exploring all the different ways and tools that can
be used when designing something. I have enjoyed designing with wood, fabric,
apps, business branding, packaging, leather, photography, video and the good 
ol' pen and paper.

 
I studied Industrial Design at Western Washington University for two years before switching to a more interdisciplinary approach and transferring to Fairhaven College. My remaining years were spent designing and completing a self-designed major called "Designing for the Body: Movement, Materials and Aesthetics" as well as a B.S. in Kinesiology.
I studied the science behind human movement and the best ways to apply this knowledge to designing beautiful solutions to products for the human body, particularly footwear. I learned about the design and manufacturing processes of orthotics and prosthetics  as well as mass produced footwear. 
During my 4th year I travelled to Peru and Nicaragua for nearly 10 months to research the economic and environmental effects of the global footwear industry on cities, small towns and individuals. I learned in depth the detrimental effects that the pollution and complete disregard that large companies have for over-saturating a market can have. I saw huge piles of shoes being burned on the sides of roads, washed up on shores and arrive in truckloads to packed marketplaces. The footwear industry is currently very unsustainable, not circular and is hurting communities all over the world. I am always continuing my pursuit of interdisciplinary knowledge to one day design an effective alternative to this destructive pattern of product creation and distribution. 

In parallel to my professional pursuits, I am an avid outdoorsman, runner, mountain biker, rock climber and explorer of this our wonderful home planet. I just moved to Boulder, Colorado and am overjoyed by all the beauty to explore around me!​​​​​​​
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