Esthetic Prosthetic Designed for the Disabled
Japanese industrial designer and Keio University professor Shunji Yamanaka (in association with Kohga Tamamura, above left) has created a concept leg prosthesis expressing what he calls the “Skeletal Structure of Design”.
Unlike many artificial limbs, Yamanaka's design has been crafted to suit the female physique. See that white plastic attachment jutting out from what would be the calf of a fully formed leg? It's there to provide the sense of a silhouette when the user wears slacks or pants.
Why hide the essential beauty of this design, though? There doesn't appear to be a straight line anywhere on the prosthesis and of course, there aren't any on the average human leg either.
Professor Yamanaka may have been inspired by South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, nicknamed “Blade Runner” after the blade-like spring steel artificial feet he wears during competitions.
Indeed, the female model shown in these images of Yamanaka's prosthesis is an athlete who liked the look of the design and volunteered to wear it for an after-match photo shoot.
Though the prosthetic leg re-imagined by professor Shunji Yamanaka is only a concept at the moment and cannot be used in everyday situations, it serves to prove a valid point: an artificial leg doesn't have to ape the look of an actual human leg in order to look beautiful.