Shoes that make everyone the same height

Woa, awesome project, from way back in 1997. Making shoes to make everyone level. What are the social behaviors now…

“Berlin-based artist Hans Hemmert (famous for his work with balloons) threw a party where guests wore shoe-extenders to make them all the same height of 2 meters. Aside from bringing the partygoers all to a common eye level (and eliminating the awkward postures of party talk between the tall and the short), the gathering is lent an infographic nature by the shoes: all made from blue foam, the person’s real height is read in the visual uniformity of the sole instead of at the head—like a walking bar graph.

This (completely underpublished) project, entitled “Level,” is from 1997, produced for the Personal Absurdities show at the Galerie Gebauer Berlin. Finding it now, in 2010, I can’t help but read it as a design event, getting directly at the basic qualities that shape our interactions with others—what does it mean when we all share one height?

Hans Hemmert is part of the art collective Inges Idee. Check out their site for more amazing projects in public space.”

via core77

13 Responses to “Shoes that make everyone the same height”

  1. Juliet C Says:

    Interesting idea. Don’t tell Harrison Bergeron though.

  2. Talib Says:


  3. Talib Says:

    Its just not any kind of stupid. but German stupid. which can be dangerous stupid. as we all now.

  4. dan Says:

    yes. hitler’s vilest plan was to make everyone the same height.

  5. Shoes that make everyone the same height « Says:

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  6. Rebecca Says:

    This is brilliant! Or was brilliant. As a 5 foot tall woman, I have to say that people make lots of assumptions about height. People perceive me as cute or fun, etc, but not powerful or a leader.

    Remember, almost all recent presidents of the US have been tall. We all make decisions based upon a person’s height.

  7. Irene Says:

    Wow, Rebecca is the only one to have grasped the idea behind this project. Unfortunately, the ignorant masses have come to trash the comments section with their below-average intelligence. Hey people, go post comments on some Youtube video.

    There have been many interesting studies about one’s height can have an influence in the way he/she is viewed by other people. There was an article in Psychology Today about tall men being more successful with women, and I also found this study : The Effect of Physical Height on Workplace Success and Income.

    Anyway, very interesting article.

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  10. David Says:

    It would have to be a fairly long gathering, as I think it would take some time to get over the novelty. I’d prefer several gatherings of strangers (like each night for 1 hour for a week). And then survey them all about each other.

    Being a large man, I get called upon from time to time at work to “intimidate” a problem person. Sure I’m confident in most social circumstances, so I can “play the part” but I’m really a gentle guy with no innate interest or skill in such things.

    We all play parts expected of us (even rebels).

  11. Emily I. Says:

    VERY fascinating. I love when art meets psychology/sociology. Height differences really do fuel social interaction in interesting ways. I’m only 5’2″ and I have friends that are 6’5″ and friends that are my height, both extremes always have things to say about assumptions made that are affected by height.

  12. links for 2010-04-14 « My Weblog Says:

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  13. Tara Says:

    being 5 feet tall, I appreciate this idea, I wonder what it would be like to hang with the rest… I like this idea

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