Design Museum Everywhere Will Present Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics at the University of Hartford this Fall 2021

August 06, 2021
photo from exhibit

An opening reception will be held Sept. 21 from 7-9 pm

Design Museum Everywhere will present their traveling exhibition, Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics at Joseloff Gallery at the University of Hartford this Fall 2021. Bespoke Bodies is a multimedia exhibition that explores the past, present, and future of prosthetic design on a global scale through personal stories of people who use prostheses as well as case studies of innovations in the field. A working group of students from Hartford Art School and The College of Education, Nursing, and Health Professions will be contributing never-before-seen materials to supplement the exhibition. The University of Hartford houses one of the few graduate and undergraduate Prosthetics and Orthotics programs in the country.

Bespoke Bodies will be on view at Joseloff Gallery at the University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, from August 21-October 9, 2021. Public programs include an opening reception on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, 7-9 p.m., and additional tours led by master’s students in Prosthetics and Orthotics. Please consult our social media and website ( for the latest updated information.


Bespoke Bodies demonstrates the beauty and impact of prosthetics both from the deeply personal and diverse stories of people who use them, as well as the designers who work closely with the disabled community to innovate, advocate, and implement meaningful change in people’s lives."

Sam Aquillano, Executive Director of Design Museum Everywhere

Bespoke Bodies highlights the collaborative process of design, including paralympic athletes, veterans, and children with limb loss, congenital limb difference, maxillofacial disability, and mobility impairment, who become part of their own design process.

Wafa Lavelle demonstrates the power of the collaborative design process in her story, which is featured in the exhibition. Born in Jordan with two club feet and bent legs, Lavelle struggled for decades due to poorly-fit prosthetics that resulted in pain and the amputation of her right leg at the age of 17. In a quest to find resources and community, she connected with her current prosthetist, Jayne Drummey, and together they worked to improve her prosthetics to fit her active lifestyle. Wearing a properly fitted prosthesis has given Lavelle increased mobility, allowing her to walk, dance, canoe, and surf, and has inspired her to become a disability mentor and amputee advocate.

Developed with a committee of advisors made up of people who use and create prostheses, Bespoke Bodies aims to help broaden conversations around disability and shared resources. The exhibition features over 40 stories from around the world — spanning DIY inventions from children to mind-controlled bionic limbs — shared by the patients, clinicians, designers, and artists who are changing how we think about the future of human mobility. Visitors will explore the evolution of a range of prosthetic devices through visual stories, historical timelines, videos, and interactive models.

Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics premiered in 2018 at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. Joseloff Gallery will be its fourth location with more to be announced this year. Design Museum Everywhere published an accompanying book of the same name in December 2020, which is available for purchase on the museum’s website.

This exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Hartford Art School Endowment, Inc., and the Charles Nelson Robinson Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

For more information, visit Joseloff Gallery is located on the University of Hartford campus, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117. Guest parking is available in LOT D. Gallery hours are M-Th, 12-6 pm, and F-Sat, 12-4 pm. Closed on Sundays.

For more information, visit the Bespoke Bodies website and


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Meagan Fazio