May 12, 2021

New Book ‘Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics’ Explores the Impact of Accessible Design

“Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics” by Sam Aquillano and Amanda Hawkins features personal accounts by amputee professional athletes, veterans, and kids. Photography courtesy of Design Museum Everywhere.

Approximately 2.1 million people in the U.S. live with limb loss. A new book from Design Museum Press, “Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics,” tackles the subject. Its 200 pages explore the far-reaching impact of accessible design and the advancements in medicine, robotics, and 3D printing that have transformed the intersection between the human body and technology, from sculpting ocular prostheses to mind-controlled bionic limbs, and includes a foreword by Paralympian track medalist John Register. “We started connecting with different people in the community—children, veterans, athletes—and it was clear that there was a collective story to tell,” Design Museum Everywhere founder and co-author Sam Aquillano says of the book’s 45 case studies. “Now we have a catalog of what’s possible when design meets a uniquely human need, and the results are incredible.”

The book includes interviews with prosthetists, designers, and doctors.  Photography courtesy of Design Museum Everywhere.
Model Kelly Knox, who worked the Alternative Limb Project on developing stylish prosthetics. Photography courtesy of Omkaar Kotedia/Alternative Limb Project.
A cover photo of Ebewelleda and her prosthetic Ebe Arm.  Photography courtesy of Design Museum Everywhere.
An accompanying exhibition of the same name of the book by the nonprofit Design Museum Everywhere when it travels from Boston and Portland, Oregon, to the University of Hartford in Connecticut in the fall.  Photography courtesy of Design Museum Everywhere.

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