Design

Accessible design in prosthetics

In her inspiring 2009 TEDTalk, Aimee Mullins redefines what the body can be. Her prosthetic legs are a combination of form, function and aesthetic. She encourages designers to change the idea of “disability” and the definition of beauty by bringing their talents to both the science and the art of designing prosthetics.

In the comments on this TEDTalk, several TED.com members asked for more information about accessible prosthetics — new designs that will make artificial limbs available to everyone who needs them.

Since Mullins’ talk, we’ve kept our eyes peeled for innovative designs in prosthetics. We found an inspiring example from industrial designer Tillmann Beuscher. He built a temporary artificial leg made of cheap materials to “support world-wide victims of land mines and explosive remainings of war”. His design was a winner of the 2009 iF concept award. Check out pictures of the design and the limb at work here. — Bonnie Burke