Metamorphosis: An Aesthetic Approach to Orthosis Design

By Saemi Cho and Ji Woong Park.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

By examining the complex relationship between people with disabilities and their orthosis, this research tries to find ways to diminish the negative side effect caused by wearing orthosis. Although an orthosis helps a patient to improve his or her physical impairment, if the orthosis is properly prescribed, the patient often experiences psychological problems of anger, anxiety, and depression which lead to a serious decrease in compliance of wearing the orthosis as the orthosis can remind the patient his or her disability. As a result, the patient often experiences a serious problem of participation restriction in life situations.
The research team hypothesized that aesthetically improved orthosis could assist patients to accomplish their rehabilitation process more successfully, furthermore the aesthetic orthosis could function as a kind of body ornament or jewelry as a means of expressing their identity.
Based on the interviews and analysis on medical conditions of the participants, the research includes three experimental case studies responding to specific participants’ needs.

Keywords: Orthosis, Aesthetics, Disability, Rehabilitation, Real World Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.277-290. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.422MB).

MPhil Saemi Cho

Faculty, Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Craft & Design, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Saemi Cho is a practitioner, historian and theorist of craft. Her research at the higher level of MPhil at the Royal College of Art, London, U.K. (an international benchmark of excellence in creative practice and theory in postgraduate art and design) analyzed and theorized the vital theme of ‘Craft and Labour’, showing how tools shaped the history of facture both literally and metaphorically. Her particular location of the work between object and bodily engagement and its focus on orthosis, which offers the idea of support for a deformed or dysfunctional aspect of the body, expresses her aim to communicate with a much broader audience for the social benefit of communities. Her works has been exhibited in galleries and Museums in U.K. and Korea including 2009 Kwangju Design Biennale 2009 and the Chiwoo Craft Museum, Seoul, Korea. Saemi also curated exhibitions ‘Ethics in Everyday Life’ (Space HaaM, Seoul, 2010), ‘Metalwork and Jewelry for the Aged’ (Insa Art Center, Seoul, 2007).

Dr. Ji Woong Park

Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

Ji Woong Park M.D. is assistant professor, department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Seoul, Korea. He has collaborated with Saemi Cho for the subject of bringing aesthetics to orthosis since 2005.


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