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oz etzioni

new york, NY, United States

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Another thesis idea i have... urban mobility for children with amputated limbs

    Well-being, Industrial Design


    Few days a go i saw a group of kids, around the age of 12, going out of the subway. each of those kids had one of his legs amputated. They all worn Rollerblade on their remaining foot, while supporting their balance with crutches. and so they rolled away....leaving me with my thoughts - how do they stop? how do they climb he stairs? why don't they use a prosthetic leg? etc.

    Those unanswered thoughts kept disturbing me. I researched a little and found out, as far as my research got me at the point i am writing this post, that those kids have no alternatives but to use existing "mobility products" that are originally designed for "normal" (difficult term) people.

    I am trying to identify a need and a lack of urban mobility options for limb amputated children (scooters / skateboards / etc). Maybe it is not the vehicle itself but something that attaches to many optional vehicles and becomes versatile in its usage. A product that will include many types of amputations in different parts / locations of the leg. Something that will also make the children feel equal to other children that use the same "urban vehicle", and they won't feel different as if they need a special "vehicle' meant and designed just for them...

    these are just thoughts and a maybe a beginning of a research in new directions.


  • Bladerunner_132_

    Oz, I think you may be on to something. Most amputees seem to want to a prosthetic that looks as much as possible like an actual limb, but the ones that are almost perfect, but then you realize they are plastic, are kind of creepy. If disability wasn't stigmatized, and if we didn't have conformist ideas about physical beauty, perhaps people who loose a limb would be more creative about their prosthesis. Or, perhaps we should think of prostheses as tools, which is really what limbs and other body parts are. (Fingernails are really useful in making things, and they are attached to you for convenience). I would like to see a line of tool plug-ins for a prosthetic socket, where a user could snap different tools in depending on the task he was doing...

    This sounds strange, but it is already happening. If you remember just before the olympics, there was a story about a guy from South Africa, I think, who had these metal springs attached to his stumps, and he could run incredibly fast. but they wouldn't let him run because they said it was unfair advantage. If that's the case, it's possible to imagine some form of elective, or even cosmetic, amputations...

  • FREEDOM TO MOVE:- I believe there is extensive studies in design regarding the use of SkateBoards, as an 'acceptable' Urban Vehicle; and a great way for young people to move about in the community, without feeling unusual from other kids around them. I was actually forming a model myself. Having built and repaired many skateboards, bikes, scooters, and such. However, my work has been brought up a little short, as I am needing to work around having gone blind, due to Multiple Sclerosis attacking my optic nerves. I have some limitations, but if anyone is interested in helping continuing this with me, I would wecome a response very much. I have always worked with youth in one form or another, and now I do believe, wishing to continue assisting if I can - with Gernany leading the research field, and Industrial Design Manufacture and furthering Research into various vehicles and Prostheses.Even to the extent that the limbs are almost like a real limb. In fact Snap-In Tools, such as discussed, are already 'real' limbs. But the studies continue..

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My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design