Demand for affordable leg prostheses in Kenya is huge but there has been no satisfactory, low-cost system. The artificial leg «Circleg» fills this gap. By using recyclable plastics in combination with existing local production methods, the prosthesis can be produced in the region, and at low cost. The modular set-up makes it easy to exchange and repair old parts, and to adapt them individually for each user. This brings significant improvement to the users’ mobility as they go about their daily lives.
«The vision here is to develop a sustainable model for manufacturing low-cost leg prostheses from recycled plastic waste.»
In Fabian Engel and Simon Oschwald’s «Project Circleg», several highly relevant topics are skilfully linked together: The project answers the urgent question of how plastic waste can be used a resource, it closes a gap in the medical care available in developing countries, and provides a sensible, self-financing business case for the product. The students show a high degree of sensitivity towards the cultural dynamics and reflect their actions as designers with great precision. In this way, they have managed to create a project which has gained much praise from users and experts from Geneva to Nairobi, and from material science to development work.
However, the prototype of the «Circleg» does not need to hide behind the multi-facetedness and complexity of the project: it distinguishes itself through its easily comprehensible, but individual formal language, it is thoughtfully constructed, and exceeds all expectations in terms of the level of detail and readiness for commercial manufacture.