-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?