Second Skin

    Project Anima is a project that looked into aesthetics and technologies for prosthetic hands. Working with doctors and patients enabled me to generate human centred direction to my research.

    The final piece is a double moulded polyurethane hand that is soft to the touch and a fabric capable of enabling a sense of touch to the wearers. The fabric was woven in collaboration with Aine Byrnes, as currently there are no fabric like this around. Using capacitive sensing it enables wearers to feel even the subtle brushes on the arm as we walk in public, and mimic how human arms are capable of sensing the heat from a hand before it touches us.
    Prosthetic hands are unique, in that it can be seen in multiple views. It can be seen as an object when it is not worn. It is a tool to hold objects, feel and explore the world. It provides a doorway to physical interaction with others, for dancing and holding hands. It can also be a method of expressing the individuality of the wearer, as a fashion item. It is able to provide symmetry of weight for the body, but also aesthetic balance of human beings. This brings about multitudes of approaches to prosthetic design.

    Looking back on the project, I think I found current designs static, emotionless and limiting. So I thought, "How might we bring humanness to prosthetics".

    Some of the most interesting things I discovered made me re-phrase that initial question. When we first see a prosthetic hand and pick it up, we feel something out of place and unsettling, because of the wrinkles on it that is not real. The feeling of revulsion as a response to these aesthetic feature that attempts to be real is called the "uncanny valley". So I looked into designing a prosthesis that speaks honestly that it is a prosthesis but hold the human values and warmth we get from a hand.

Royal College of Art

Bo Chan

Rolf Thomas

Final Piece Woven Textile Collaboration - Aine Byrnes (Textiles RCA)

Mixed Media Collaboration - Carly Mikkelsen (Mixed Media RCA)

Duration   6 months

Date   Jan. 2014 - June 2014


  Yuki is an Innovation Designer and Technologist working on creating products and experiences that create positive futures. He is a Design Researcher at the EPFL+ECAL Lab, where he is working on Digital Innovation to bring emerging technologies from the research labs at EPFL to people who need it. Yuki is a graduate from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, holding an MA and MSc in Innovation Design and Engineering and an MEng in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently pursing a Masters of Advanced Studies at EPFL and ECAL in Design Research in Digital Innovation. He is passionate about using Design Thinking and Human Centred Design to create positive impact. Since his childhood he was inspired by technology and design. He is also interested in start-ups and getting new ideas to market. He is a Design London Fellow, which allowed him to attend Executive MBA lectures at Imperial Business School and to work on projects along side MBA students. With the Lines team he was fortunate to attend the European Innovation Academy and the Intel Make it Wearable Challenge to learn about patents, marketing, business and design.