UNITE: Human Tech Connect


March 8, 2018
3/3/18 6:00 pm - 3/8/18 8:00 pm


2018-03-0818:00:00 2018-03-0820:00:00 UNITE: Human Tech Connect Explore the irreplaceable role of human relationships in the robust world of prosthetic technology.   Prosthetic technology is rapidly advancing with robotics, 3D-printing, ... 511 NW Broadway Portland, OR 9720 Design Museum Portland info@designmuseumportland.org

Explore the irreplaceable role of human relationships in the robust world of prosthetic technology.


Prosthetic technology is rapidly advancing with robotics, 3D-printing, and studies in anatomy and neurology. The most essential component of ensuring that a prosthetic device is truly an extension of the human body is the complex, lifelong relationship between the user and the clinician. Cutting-edge devices may have the ability to enhance the body, yet the design must be customized to fit and provide comfort to each individual for long-term and effective use.

Media coverage in this industry showcases rare and futuristic devices, yet sometimes fails to highlight this human-to-human interaction. Advancements in technology are only as powerful as the people behind them, and together they will define what the future of prosthetics entail.

Join us on March 8th from 6-8pm for our UNITE panel discussion at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Industry experts will discuss the need for empathy, humanity, and customized design in the world of prosthetics.

Meet the panelists:

Erica Bruns, Prosthetic User

At the age of 22, Erica was freshly out of college and on her way to starting a career. Her path of normalcy was interrupted when on a July afternoon in 2014 she had a traumatic motorcycle accident. After the accident, Erica chose not to let her disability affect her attitude. She continues to be an athlete*; she runs, rides her bike, golfs, snowboards, and tries just about anything she can make her mind up to do. To this day, Erica educates individuals about amputation and shares her story with others.

*If you have a body, you are an athlete – Bill Bowerman


Dr. Albert Chi, M.D, Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Trauma, OHSU

Dr. Chi is a trauma surgeon whose practice includes critical care, trauma and acute care surgery. Dr. Chi has a background in biomedical engineering and a clinical research focused at improving the lives of individuals with traumatic injuries with an emphasis on motor control. Dr. Chi is currently the Medical Director of the Targeted Muscle Reinnervation Program at Oregon Health and Science University and has a research appointment the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in the Research and Development Department in the area of advanced prosthetics. Dr. Chi is also a Commander in the Navy Reserves and has served in Operation Enduring Freedom as the Director of surgical services in 2013.


Shashi Jain, Innovation Manager at Intel

Shashi Jain is an Innovation Manager at Intel Corporation, pathfinding new use cases for IoT, Machine Learning and VR technologies. Shashi is passionate about 3D printing and personalization of prosthetics at scale, having worked with industry leaders such as UNYQ. Shashi runs a community of 1200+ 3D printing enthusiasts in Portland, OR and runs events for the e-NABLE movement, delivering free 3D printed hands to anyone in need.


Erin O’Brien, Prosthetist/Orthotist at Hanger Clinic

Erin is an ABC-certified prosthetist/orthotist practicing with Hanger Clinic in Portland, OR and specializes in pediatric orthotics, cranial remolding orthoses, scoliosis, pediatric prosthetics, and upper extremity prosthetics.  She is also a clinical mentor for the Hanger residency program and has a fellowship granted by the American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics. Erin holds a B.S. in Prosthetics and Orthotics from the University of Washington and completed her prosthetics residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Dynamic Orthotics and Prosthetics in Houston, TX.


Doors open at 6:00 pm, presentation begins at 6:30 pm. Refreshments will be served.

Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics is a major exhibition and education program by Design Museum Foundation, on view at the Pacific Northwest College of Art from February 15 – May 9, 2018. From sculpting ocular prosthetics to crowdsourcing affordable 3D printed hands, this exhibition surveys past, present, and future of prosthetic design on a global scale. Visitors will explore evolution and design process behind a range of prostheses through visual stories, historical surveys, videos, and interactive models. Over 35+ case studies — spanning DIY-inventions from kids to mind-controlled bionic limbs — tell the stories behind the patients, clinicians, designers, and artists changing how we think about the impact of design, and ultimately, the future of our mobility.

Visit our exhibition website for the full list of programming and events related to this exhibition!


Parking: There are 2 lots right out front of the PNCA

City Center Parking #244. $12 Daily

City Center Parking #102. $14 Daily

Several other lots are in the area: access a map of parking around the area here.

Please note that the main campus entrance is on the NW Park Ave side of the building (in the parking lot on the west side).