<p>Design provides a set of tools for exploring our world and these can give very different insights from the tools of the natural scientist or social scientist. The Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University is developing the use of creative practice at the centre of multi-disciplinary research and has demonstrated that this approach can bring significant results in areas of research which are more usually thought of thought of as science or engineering. This paper describes a 3-year project which has provided completely new ideas for the design of artificial limbs based on close analogies with human anatomy. The project was intended to look at very long-term developments but has also resulted in ideas for today's products and has changed the thinking of both clinicians and manufacturers.</p> <p>Investigative methods included iterative cycles of creative development and reflection; work with users including the production of video material to stimulate their thinking beyond the state of the art; and both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of design outcomes with scientific and clinical specialists.</p
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