Handicap refers in this post to physical impairment. Previously disabilities got hidden or were even the reason for exclusion in certain sectors. But over the last years there has been an amazing change because of technology and design.
DEZEEN, one of the leading design and architecture blogs is featuring regularly new developments in the field of prosthetics. 3D printing has a major impact on the improvement and design of artificial limbs.
A trend setter here is the American athlete and model Aimee Mullins who has made her handicap of missing limbs below the knees to her special feature. A record-breaker at the Paralympic Games in 1996, Aimee Mullins has built a career as a model, actor and advocate for women, sports and the next generation of prosthetics. Thanks to the paralympics, people with handicaps get a stage where they can show how a deficit can be changed to an advantage.
Suddenly it became cool to wear prosthesis, sure because now they look like a piece of art, like a sculpture. Inspirations are coming also from the film industry. The phantasy creature of a Cyborg – a mixture of human and machine – seems now to become reality. Artificial limbs are not just replacing the missing body part but can add also additional skills.
A handicap is no longer something to hide but to show off – like the musician Viktoria Modesta does. She is celebrating her physical differences with her collection of artificial legs and in her song “Protoype” with the statement “I’m the model of the future”.
Technology and design are two major fields which will change our lives – from handicap to enhancement!