Bringing the Department of Unimaginable to life for consumers in Los Angeles to celebrate Air Max Day 2019 and the release of the newest addition to the Air Max Collection: the 720.

Air Max Day 2019 was not what Nike fans have come to expect from the brand. This year Nike focused on shifting consumer perspective by bringing them into the design process. Visitors to each of the activations in Los Angeles were encouraged to come up with their own version of Air Max footwear. Informed by the legacy of the sneaker, visitors to the Department of Unimaginable LA were invited to flex some creative muscle and design their own Air Max, through workshops lead by Nike designers and collaborators.

When not involved in one of the workshops, visitors could head to the 2ndfloor of the building where laboratory inspired wall panels exhibited a timeline of the evolution of the Air Max. Including a collection of some of the most prized Air Max releases, on loan from dedicated sneakerheads,  on display in specimen bell jars for some additional inspiration.

Over at the Department of Unimaginable Kids space, the next generation of sneakerheads was fully immersed in the science of the technology found in the air bags that made Air Max an icon. Led by Air Scientists, the Air Recruits learned about several different properties of air through hands-on experiments based in chemistry and physics. There was a decontamination chamber, dry ice bubbles, and an obstacle course based on the Bernoulli Principle to illustrate how air can be used in a variety of ways. To finished off their “training”, recruits were tasked with designing their own unique Air Max bubble using the knowledge gained from the earlier experiments. As they reunited with their parents, each newly graduated “Air Scientist” left with some Air Max swag, their custom shoe design, and a little bit of extra knowledge.

Overall, Air Max Day 2019 in Los Angeles was one for the books. Instead of elaborate retail activations where consumers could purchase and customize limited addition footwear and related products, Nike focused on bringing their fans into the conversation. It was a chance for consumers to look at the product from a different perspective and who knows? Maybe Nike even discovered some new designers along the way.

Department of Unimaginable – Brand Space

Design Agency – Hotel Creative


Department of Unimaginable – KIDS

Design partner – Rumour Has It 


Photography + Video courtesy of NIKE