Artifical Skins and Bones

Artificial Skins and Bones Group (DE)

Grand Prize – Innovative Collaboration: Awarded for innovative collaboration between industry or technology and the arts (and the cultural and creative sectors in general) that open new pathways for innovation.

Nature’s patterns, structures, and functions are an endless source of inspiration. We started off our project course Artificial Skins and Bones by looking into our body’s design, and examining elements that may be applied to the design process of artificial bodies. The idea for this topic developed through our collaboration with Ottobock, the world market leader in prosthetics. Through workshops with their technicians and physiotherapists, interviews with amputees, and a visit to Ottobock’s research and production hub in Duderstadt, we added additional topics to our agenda: the language of sensation, interaction with artificial body parts, and the aesthetics of artificial bodies and their relationship to the aesthetics of natural bodies.

Visible Strength

by Lisa Stohn and Jhu-Ting Yang proposes a flexible, creature-like textile surface that, like an octopus, changes its color and pattern in various ways through muscle stimuli.


by Karina Wirth and Natalie Peter is the development of intelligent textiles, capable of altering moisture permeability by adjusting their surface structures. Inspiration for this project was the most versatile organ in the human body: skin.

Technology, Temperature, and Textiles

Technology, Temperature, and Textiles

by Stephanie Natrass is an e-textiles material research project that embeds sensing and actuation into textile surface constructions.



by Babette Wiezorek explores the nature and potential of organically inspired 3D grid structures by applying algorithmic design and 3D printing to microstructures.

Audio Gait

by Agnes Rosengren and Bernardo Aviles-Busch sonifies movements to aid the understanding of body balance while walking. The portable system is an easy learning aid for shin prosthetics training, which translates walking movements into auditory feedback.



by Hans Illiger looks into the rehabilitation process of lower limb amputees, and proposes a service design concept as well as a hardware solution for gathering movement data.


by David Kaltenbach, Maximilian Mahal, and Lucas Rex is a customizable Human Interface Device (HID) for upper limb amputees. The bracelet detects sensory muscular impulses in the phantom hand, translating them into contactless and intuitive computer controlling.

Tactile Sensation

Tactile Sensation

by Nina Rossow explores two possibilities of displaying information through tactile feedback: Sens_mat allows passive tactile recognition of materials when direct contact is not possible. Sens_dia simplifies descriptions in pain diagnostics and offers a non-verbal and body specific communication.

Aesthetic Uncanny

The Aesthetics of the Uncanny

by Carmina Blank and Sandra Stark explores the delicate balance between familiar prosthesis design standards and uncanniness. The team researched how targeted material conception can help to understand and control this phenomenon, and can be taken into conscious consideration during the design process.


Read an interview elaborating on “Artificial Skins and Bones” at our Ars Electronica Blog.

Artificial Skins and Bones Group

The Artificial Skins and Bones Group (DE) is an interdisciplinary group of young designers from Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin. Their expertise ranges from textile, surface and product design to fashion and visual communications. In the Artificial Skins and Bones project the group freely explored the design of, and interaction with, artificial bodies and body parts. The projects presented illustrate a great variety of possible starting points, prototyping techniques, and application scenarios. We hope that the outcome is a valuable contribution to the future exploration of artificial bodies and prosthetic designs.

Project credits

Artificial Skins and Bones Group:
Course Instructors: Prof. Wolf Jeschonnek, Prof. Mika Satomi
Participating Students: Bernardo Aviles-Busch, Carmina Blank, Hans Illiger, David Kaltenbach, Maximilian Mahal, Stephanie Nattrass, Natalie Peter, Lucas Rex, Agnes Rosengren, Nina Rossow, Sandra Stark, Lisa Stohn, Babette Wiezorek, Karina Wirth, Jhuting Yang

Main project partners:
Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee, Fab Lab Berlin, Ottobock Healthcare GmbH, Makea Industries GmbH