Design Museum Boston was at HUBweek from October 10-14th, and it was awesome! We partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Hanger Clinic to showcase an exhibition preview of Bespoke Bodies: The Design and Craft of Prosthetics, opening in early 2019 at the Prudential Center Mall.
The Bespoke Bodies exhibit takes an in-depth look at the history, present, and future of prosthetic innovation, and features stories behind the design of devices, relationships between clinicians and their patients, and individuals advocating around the world. The stories and artifacts focus on education and empathy.
In a shipping container, we previewed the upcoming show. Visitors read case studies, watched videos, and interacted with certain prostheses. From widely used body-powered devices to the latest in technology, visitors were immersed in the experience.
Hanger Clinic also introduced visitors to their MiGO Virtual Reality experience, a tool used by the national orthotics and prosthetics care provider that allows patients firsthand what it’s like to lead an independent life with the use of prosthetic devices.
In addition to the exhibition preview, we activated HUBweek’s Hall of the Future with a pop-up exhibition of case studies, prosthetic devices, and accessories and hosted a panel discussion featuring four prosthetic users we connected with through Hanger Clinic: Mike Benning, Rushel Rhiney, Diane “Dee” Suthers, and Facilitator Maggie Baumer.
They shared their experiences, why they choose their specific devices, and what they hope to see in the future. The experiences and voices of prosthetic users are not often heard on a large public scale. Design innovations in style and function have helped prosthetic users to continue doing what they love. Mike Benning, when talking about why he picked his prosthetic said, “function is important to me, but I also needed something that would be soft so I can hold my child.” This is why Benning uses a robotic prosthetic with a specially designed silicone glove covering. Rushel Rhiney discussed the importance of style and beauty with her device. She said, “I am a woman that likes beautiful things, and I wanted something that would be feminine.” The importance of style and customization is crucial to the individual to incorporate their lifestyle and aesthetic style. The field of prosthetics went largely static during the latter half of the twentieth century. Despite recent technological, cost, and aesthetic advances, there is still a long way to go with prostheses. All of the panelists mentioned at the struggles they face, especially with clothing limitations and the accessibility of public spaces.
Support the exhibition! We need your help to make Bespoke Bodies a Boston story. We’re raising the last $8,000 so we can highlight local organizations and stories, including stories from Boston Marathon bombing survivors and where they are now. Give Today!
Attend our November Design Museum Mornings featuring Maggie Baumer from Hanger Clinic all about humanizing healthcare!
Sign up to get notified on the opening date of Bespoke Bodies: The Design and Craft of Prosthetics!