Health

'Bespoke Bodies' shows the art, advances of prosthetics

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A unique exhibit in Downtown Portland is giving everyone a look at the past and future of prosthetics.

Bespoke Bodies: The Design and Craft of Prosthetics is featured at the Pacific Northwest College of Art because most aren't created by doctors -- but instead, designers. 

"Bespoke" means "made to order" and the exhibit features all kinds of prosthetics that are just that.

"We want to talk about how they're impacting things that people aren't necessarily putting together with design. This is a wonderful example of design and healthcare," Erica Rife with the Design Museum Foundation said. 

The Bespoke Bodies exhibit features more than 35 case studies, even some from Oregon. 

"This athlete, Sara, approached Toby Hatfield from Nike and said 'There's gotta be another way. You guys make shoes. I'm cutting off the sole of my Nike shoe how can we do this a little bit better,'" Rife said.

They came up with the running blade that is used by amputees around the world. 

The exhibit even has prosthetics made for animals and a 3D printer that shows prosthetics made for aesthetic purposes.

"So many of our students do amazing works across the board -- they do things with shoe design, things where they go to Hollywood and create prosthetics for actors, as well," center director Mack McFarland said. 

McFarland said a lot of classes at PNCA have come through the exhibit to study the aesthetics and functionality of the prosthetics. They hope it will inspire students to come up with even more advanced designs in the future that will drastically change people's lives. 

Bespoke Bodies is on display through May 9. 

More information about Bespoke Bodies


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