Lauren Milroy is an industrial designer who embodies both concepts implied in the phrase: she has a mechanical engineering background as well as an interest in the art and design of everyday objects, “the relationship between people and the things they own.” Perhaps her most impressive (if impractical) fashion design to date is her concept for coloring pencils converted into footwear – talk about leaving a mark and creating a lasting impression.

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colored pencil shoes

Here’s how the Design in Balance exhibition describes them: “Pencil Shoes by Lauren Milroy, two pairs of shoes made of colored pencils, epoxy and ribbon, are auxiliary pieces that demonstrate the unexpected surprise and pattern with pencils as medium.”

lauren milroy design

Aside from her strange-yet-compelling colored pencil shoes she has worked on a number of one off artistic accessories and installation art designs that take typical objects and add a twist to make them fresh, new and engaging. Examples (pictured above) include a standard baseball cap with an added pocket, a belt designed to fit a single and changeable polaroid photograph, a green-growing planeter-and-necklace combination and a collection of everyday objects sorted by color into jars, possibly her most artistic but still compellingly organized piece.

“Lauren Milroy is a designer living in SF. Her personal work is inspired by color and material – pulling from the ordinary and mundane to create wearable pieces that are unique and exciting. She attended the University of Southern California, where she received a BS in Mechanical Engineering. She worked for several years as an engineer in the aerospace industry before leaving the technical to focus on her creative inclinations at Stanford, where she received a MS in Design.”

“She is passionate about the human experience and user centered thinking. And she is interested in the relationship between people and the things they own – how do the objects we own define our identity?”