The beauty of prostheses : designing for female amputees
Author(s)Nguyen, Debbie Diem
Designing for female amputees
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
David R. Wallace.
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and sometimes even surpass, the capabilities and aesthetics of the natural human body. A prosthesis is carefully designed to provide optimal functionality to assist the amputee in returning back to her normal daily activities as much and as independently as is possible. However, when an amputee wears her prosthesis, the prosthesis also becomes a part of her body image and feminine identity. She requires a prosthesis that aligns aesthetically with her body image just as much as she requires comfort and functionality. In designing for a female amputee, the focus needs to shift from a purely functional or aesthetic perspective to one that sees the whole woman that is the female amputee and works to design her the right tools that will help her reach her goals. The current prosthesis design process does not account for the importance of latent needs related to the feminine identity of female amputees. These unaddressed needs can contribute to issues of poor body image and lower levels of life satisfaction with prosthetic devices. Embracing latent, aesthetic needs early in the prosthesis design process can help lead prosthetists to more informed design decisions and increased prosthesis user satisfaction. In this thesis, use case diagrams are developed to define the scope of a female's interactions with the items in her feminine wardrobe, as clothes are a crucial part of expressing one's feminine identity. The diagrams allow the identification of areas of identity that will be most affected as a result of a particular amputation. Using the three use case diagrams in this thesis as inspiration, prosthetists can work with amputees to develop requirements that address both explicit and latent needs, and design prostheses that are more appropriate for the female gender.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 45-47).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology