Standing Out to Fit In

A project on gender-neutrality in leg prostheses.

The starting point for this project was the fact that generally more women than men choose to have cosmesis on their prostheses. Why does this happen? Is it a problem and if so, is that problem solvable by redesigning a prosthetic system?
For this project, qualitative interviews with 10 lower-leg amputees were made, asking open and partially very personal questions about everything from their daily routines to how they felt they conform to the societal norms of gender and ableism. Most women and men interviewed said that the raw prosthesis was too robot-like and far removed from the feel and look of a real leg. More technical features which were brought up by the interviewees were energy-return and adjustable heel heights for different shoes.
The result is a mixed material, customizable prosthesis system for lower-leg amputees. The combination of a 3D-printed titanium base and the customizable 3D knit is robust and gives energy return for day to day activities as well as lighter sports, but it also creates organic movement in the mesh, it fills out pants and is adjustable to any heel height.

Project info
Karoline Müller