Rider Evans, a 2016 graduate of Appalachian State University, competed against more than 2,000 students and recent graduates to become a footwear designer at the Adidas Design Academy in Herzogenaurach, Germany. He will spend two years perfecting the art of shoe design while learning best practices from senior designers in studios around the world.

Evans, a graduate of Appalachian’s industrial design program with a minor in apparel design, hails from Stokesdale, North Carolina. He found his passion for design early in life. “Being the son of a woodworker and furniture maker, I’ve always enjoyed creating and learned how to use my dad’s tools at an early age,” he said. “We made all sorts of things like skateboards, ramps, push cars, tree houses, and I even helped him build a wood shop on our property at the age of 10.”

By the time he was a junior in high school, Evans was using 3D modeling programs to create objects with exact dimensions and researching major options at different universities. The industrial design program, housed in the Department of Applied Design within Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts, fit well with his interests and skills, and he began exploring how to combine his love of product design and fashion.

“I did my best to take a broad range of classes that would allow me to work with multiple forms of media – from plastics to fabric to wood – that eventually led me to footwear design,” he said. “This is what appeals to me about design – the opportunity to design without boundaries, combining different mediums to create something entirely new.”

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