University of Sussex
Product Design Show 2012
The Amex Stadium: 06 June - 09 June
New Designers, London: 04 - 06 July
Design for upper limb prosthesis
Jack Jephson

A project to change perceptions of prosthesis through design.

This project centres on the design of an upper limb prosthesis, aiming to change perceptions of prosthetics and the associated disability by examining it in terms of the opportunities it presents, rather than the barriers it poses to restoring 'normalcy'.

This project was inspired by the emergent, and growing, contradiction of a 'disabled athlete'. Modern technology has allowed us to ask the question, for the first time ever, whether users of prosthetic limbs have an unfair advantage over 'able-bodied' athletes.

The design uses the notion of 'sensory displacement' to replace lost tactile sensation with other, observable feedback to restore some of the amputee's lost functionality, but also looks to extend the interactive reach of the arm beyond what the hand can physically touch, to what systems it can communicate and engage with - from controlling home lighting and media systems, to replacing RFID transport and payment technologies - essentially blurring the line between user and interface.

The product would be aimed at young adults, aged 18-30, as research showed this age group was often more willing to experiment with their prosthetic choice, and deviate from life-like replications.