Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru poses with an artwork resembling sunglasses on February 1, 2012 in Nairobi

A Wellcome Trust funded collaboration investigating connections between disability, culture, design and technology.

Feature image: Cyrus Kabiru, C-Stunners. 2012.  Further information at [CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images]

About the project

We often hear stories of how technology is going to change our health futures. Developments in assistive technology – from prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons that can aid in recovery from physical injury,  to smart drugs that will help preserve memory in old age, and companion robots that will serve as carers –  promise  huge benefits to improved health.  

itDf asks what ideas of body and personhood are at stake in these processes. How are hopes and fears about our bodies and minds expressed in the ideas we create, the stories we tell ourselves, and the products we design, when we imagine our interactions with technology? 

The project is the first to combine expertise in arts and humanities, design, robotics and users of assistive technologies to increase understanding of how disability and embodiment are currently represented and used, and the ways in which technology can enhance lives in the future. It brings together researchers in Literary and Cultural Studies and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds, Philosophy at the University of Exeter, Disability Design at the University of Dundee, and Robotics at the University of Sheffield. It aims to develop new work not only in these disciplines, but also in the broad interdisciplinary area of Medical Humanities.  Read more >>

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About our research

Because it is a collaborative project, itDf has always been conceived as much as an exercise in working methodologies as research that focuses on specific subjects. We want to ask many questions over the period of our work, and these include explorations of how the team, coming from different disciplinary backgrounds, works together and how we share and how we share and learn from the perspectives of others. Read more >>

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