Lifted from the uncanny valley?


-The Alternative Limb Project


-Designer: Sophie de Oliveria

– Custom- made prosthetic limbs.


Donald Norman mentions ‘misshapen human bodies’ in his list of conditions that cause a negative affect on the visceral level.  Realistic false limbs could also make us feel bit uneasy, as supported by the idea of the uncanny valley .  The more realistic a design is, the more uneasy we feel. 

On her website , Sophie not only has a gallery of strikingly realistic limbs , but ‘alternative’ options as well.  Shown above are ‘Floral leg’,  ‘Crystallized Leg’ (used in the 2012 Paralympic closing ceremony), and  ‘Stereo leg’.

 These decorated limbs have a different effect.  On a reflective level, wearing decorated limb might help with your self image, as a customer claims on the website, the limbs removed the stigma attached to those with missing limbs.

 But does the visceral level take over the behavioural  level?  Does a ‘Stereo Leg’  work better because it is more attractive, or has another added function of playing music ?  Possibly . Why not have a limb that is multifunctional?


Mona B.


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