Afraid upgrading your limbs will mean living with metal appendages, or falling into the uncanny valley of flesh-colored plastic? Fear not, one designer has a stylish new vision for prosthetics, one inspired by 1950s furniture and Steve McQueen.
Industrial designer Joanna Hawley decided to challenge the notions that prostheses need be purely functional – or that they should try to mimic biological limbs – by conceiving a prosthesis that is attractive and stylish in its own right:
Prosthetics generally lack humanity, style and grace. Often, they look much like landing gear and make the wearer uncomfortable, self aware, and sometimes depressed. By channeling the Eames' use materials and iconic style, we designed a leg with Steve McQueen in mind. We sought to convey a creative use of positive and negative space, a balance of materials and a reflection of the wearer.
Using the furniture designs of Charles and Ray Eames as an aesthetic model, Hawley and pre-med student Kayhan Haj-Ali-Ahmadi interviewed amputees, met with color specialists from make-up company Sephora, and scanned legs to achieve the proper proportions. The result: an individually tailored limb that does not look like a biological leg, but still meshes quite nicely with the human body, and hope for an aesthetically pleasing cyborg future.