Dash in Colour: Customizing Children’s Prosthetic Blades
A current trend of prosthetic appearance customization defies traditional norms of discreet and medical aesthetics, instead empowering users through personalized expression. This thesis project embraced this design trend by exploring the opportunity of prosthetic blade customization.
Prosthetic blades are helping children with lower limb differences have an active lifestyle and be as capable as their peers. However, to date, there is no appearance customization opportunity for their blades. This thesis project addressed this gap by engaging prosthetists, parents of children who wear blades, and multidisciplinary contributors to explore the opportunity. The project employed a double diamond design structure and a design thinking framework to conduct a customer needs analysis and conceptual development.
The result was an add-on product concept called "Dash in Colour", which can cover the entire face of the blade or embellish a smaller section. It has been designed to meet the specific needs of its customers, offering durability, flexibility, lightweight construction, easy application and removal, customization options, and affordability. Moreover, its business model was built to ensure simple manufacturing, suiting a niche market and allowing for the feasible production of pre-designed or personalized products.
“Dash in Colour” could give children the opportunity to control the appearance of their prosthetic limbs, enhancing their self-esteem, fostering a strong sense of identity, and improving their social interactions.