Channeling the desire of working women everywhere, Wei-Chieh Tu, a graduate student in industrial design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, has created an escalating high-heel shoe, the height of which can be set at six different levels, ranging from zero to 38 degrees, with the mere push of a button.

”My wife wanted three-inch heels but refused to buy them because she wouldn’t be able to wear them all day,” Tu explains. ”She told me, ‘You’re an industrial designer; you should do something about that,’ and of course I listened to her.”

The resulting shoe is sleek and futuristic, with a green tiered base that echoes Ferragamo’s iconic layered rainbow platform of the late 30’s. Tu, however, says he drew inspiration from the elegant, foldable Chinese hand fans he saw his mother and grandmother use when he was a child growing up in Taiwan. His ingenious creation not only marries fashion and function but also instills hope that high heels may soon cease to be instruments of torture. Need a towering presence for a meeting at work? Set your shoes at a higher altitude. Got a short date? Lower the shoes to half-mast. Want to add some glam rock to an evening out? Crank the shoes way, way up and saunter around. And best of all, when the vogue in heel height shifts, as it invariably does, there’s no shopping required; push a button and — voila! — your heels will adjust. If only all heels were as easy to manage.

More here.