Leader News (Australia) Interview
Nov-2007: Originally a human-interest story in our local newspaper about my “Ian Knot”, website and book, the story was later picked up by one of Melbourne's major newspapers.
- Interviewed for: Leader News (Australia)
- Interviewed by: Wes Hosking
- Interviewed via: Video (film crew)
- Interviewed on: 13-Nov-2007
(I was not given a copy of the video – transcript not available)
“It's knot a game”
By Wes Hosking, Leader News (Australia), 19-Nov-2007
BY THE time you read this sentence Ian Fieggen will have tied his shoelaces. Left and right.
The Chelsea resident, 44, claims to have invented the world's fastest shoelace knot and has attracted international attention.
“I'm one of the few people to teach their parents to tie their own shoelaces,” he said.
Mr Fieggen, who has been nicknamed Professor Shoelace, has been invited to appear on David Letterman's television talk show and appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
The graphic artist invented the knot after one of his shoelaces broke 20 years ago.
“It always seemed to be the right hand side of the lace that broke,” Mr Fieggen said.
“That got me thinking `What if it could be tied symmetrically?”
The result was the Ian Knot, which is formed by making two loops and pulling them together.
It is about three times quicker to tie than a conventional knot.
The knot was shown only as a party trick until Mr Fieggen posted directions on a personal website in 1999. The website now attracts 6000 visitors a day and has morphed into a book, which was last month released in the US.
Mr Fieggen has roped in partner Inge Roedecker with his lacing prowess.
“We sit here of an evening and we lace our shoes,” Ms Roedecker said.
But don't go thinking shoelaces are child's play.
Monash University mathematical science lecturer Dr Burkard Polster, who has published a book about the best way to tie shoes, said about half the population tied them incorrectly.
Dr Polster said the Ian Knot was the fastest shoe knot he knew because it streamlined the traditional knotting process.
Mr Fieggen hopes to add a one-handed way of tying a conventional knot to his repertoire and teach children the right way to tie their shoes.
“I've always thought shoe laces were a bit of an underdog,” he said.
“People just take them for granted.”
– Wes Hosking