Bespoke Bodies • Our Process

 

To develop this exhibition, our team first formed a committee of advisors in the field made up of people who use and create prostheses; including amputees, limb difference advocates, clinicians, designers, educators, and more.

We formed partnerships and invited individuals, designers, and organizations to get involved to share their stories on the impact of design in the field.

One of the things we sought out the most were stories about the collaborative process of design; people with limb loss, congenital limb difference, maxillofacial disability, and mobility impairment, who become part of their own design process. Paralympic athletes working with designers to find innovative techniques and solutions in design. Kids collaborating with industrial designers to create their own expressive devices, sometimes even featuring legos! Organizations like D-rev who focus on developing affordable prosthetic solutions for those without access to advanced prosthetic devices.

These stories show that the more voices, collaborators, and people who use prostheses that are part of the creation process, the better the design.

Bespoke Bodies is a free, public exhibition that aims to contribute to broadening larger conversations and shared resources around disability. The show recognizes that choosing to wear or use a prosthetic device is one of the many methods and options around ambulation, physical activity, and appearance for people with disabilities. 

Wafa Lavelle, and her prosthetist Jayne Drummey, CPO. “Jayne made me a leg that helped to fully restore my mobility, strength, well-being, and most importantly, my confidence in navigating life every day.”

Partners, Consultants, and Resources:

Throughout our exhibition development process, our curators attended lectures, conferences, clinical visits, and amputee advocacy events. Through collaborating with individuals with limb difference and disabilities,  we were able to learn straight from people who use and benefit from prosthetic design in order to tell their stories through this exhibit.

Steve Woolfenden and his prosthetist at Hanger Clinic, Brian Heckathorn, gave our team a look into their strong bond and open communication while discussing Steve’s socket fit and comfort in his residual limb. Photo taken at Hanger Clinic, South Easton MA

Kaylee Dougherty from Boston Ocular Prosthetics and her patient, Elby, explain Elby’s process for wearing, cleaning, and removing his ocular prosthesis to our curators.

Along with directly collaborating with and crafting content for the exhibition with the people behind the stories themselves, our team met with and spoke with clinicians, prosthetists, amputees, and other allies in the community in order to gain new perspectives and expand our resources and knowledge in the field.

Here are some of the organizations and resources we met and continue to consult with for our programming:

Braden Leonard, Founder of Handmade Prosthetics and advisor to the Bespoke Bodies exhibition, tells visitors about his experiences as an amputee and his company’s latest innovations in adaptive cycling at our opening in Portland, OR.