This past Sunday, The New York Times Magazine published “Far Out on a Limb,” about prosthetic artfulness. It is a stunning photo essay. Yet four years earlier, during the Fall semester of 2009, the MFAD first year students engaged in Re-Designing the Prosthetic Arm under the watchful gaze of their teacher Allan Chochinov (see the website here). Their work was also a tour de force of imagination and compassion.
21 students embarked on a journey to conduct design work around upper limb prosthetics. Through readings, research, and an incredible group of guest critics including Aimee Mullins, Jon Kuniholm, Frank Wilson and Elliot Washor, the students attempted to put a dent in what may arguably be one of the most daunting design challenges imaginable—to design a better prosthetic arm.
Its good to see that we got there first. But its also important to note that design and art are used to improve the tools and machines necessary for happy and healthy lives.