Nike Discovery Lab

Using play to explain Nike innovation to young people

We teamed up with longtime collaborators Anyways, to communicate the benefits behind key Nike innovations to young people aged 8–12 years old.

To do this, we helped create the ‘Discovery Lab’. A one day event that turned a group of Nike’s ‘Young Athletes’ into scientists, where they tested and learnt about Nike’s ‘Air’ and ‘React’ innovations through a series of experiments, then put their learnings into practise by designing the sneakers of tomorrow

Firsthand insights: as with any project, it began with a phase of thorough insight gathering about our audience, the product innovations, and how to best communicate scientific ideas in engaging ways. We dived headfirst into the world of 8-12yr olds talking to youth workers, parents, teachers, museum workers, and sporting coaches to get their first-hand everyday insights.

Bringing innovation to life: Using these learnings to guide us we created the ‘Discovery Lab’, a one day event created specifically for young people to use science and play to ask imaginative questions and learn about Nike innovations.

The day was split into two sections. The first housed four hands-on experiments we designed where the 8 - 12 year olds could put these innovations to the test. The second was a workshop, run by the Anyways team and special Nike guests, where the children put their learnings into practice, designing their perfect sneaker.


3D design and creative: Studio PSK

Account/event management and creative: Anyways

Branding: Phoebe Argent

Motion graphics: Leon Hapka

Photography: Tim Bowditch

Experiment build: East Productions

Spatial build: Matthew Duguid @ Patricia Mcmahon

Video Credits:

JD Sports

+/- More Info

Floating Air used a giant wind machine and a selection of custom air bubbles to visualise, the more air, the lighter the shoe.


From initial sketches > renders > final physical outcomes: we took each experiment from a concept to a final physical object.

It starts with an initial sketch to give form to the idea. Then we produce a rendered visial to share with clients and collaborators. Finally, detailed technical drawings are made for fabricators.

Having all these elements under one roof ensures a completely consistent outcome.

For Bounce Back we created special Air testing shoes to ask the young people to walk across an uneven floor and see just how much Air improves every step.


To demonstrate just how light React was, we asked our audience to weigh a React sneaker against some super light objects in Hella Light.


How Many put the longevity of React through its paces by asking the guests to do as many steps, jumps, or hops as they could in 30 seconds.


The Results:
85 young people passed through Discovery Lab, with the social content from JD Sports reaching thousands more.

Entries to a social-based Nike led competition gathered a total of 22K entries.

“Events like this really make a difference to children who do not have exposure/interaction of this sort.”

- Parent.