A neon sign reading 'Hands of X' in white letters sits next to two hands made of wood and leather. Underneath, three rows of seven pigeon holes are visible, each housing a black cardboard box with Hands of X on the lid. The view is through a window, mundane fluorescent lighting visible indoors.

Hands of X

is a project exploring radical material choices in prosthetic hands.

Our SS18 collection of hands draws on a palette of everyday materials, each familiar and understated, yet rich in associations. We are challenging the dominant prosthetic material palettes of 'realistic' pink plastics and cyborg-like carbon fibre with leathers, woods, acetates, felts and metals.

Every hand will be made to order. Wearers can prototype their hand in-shop, trying different material combinations before making a final specification. We use flexible fabrication technologies to make each hand from the specified materials in the correct size, working with a network of makespaces and manufacturers.

We are inspired by materials-led clothing and footwear labels like Universal Works and Camper, and the Supernormal design philosophy of Jasper Morrison, Naoto Fukasawa and Muji.

In July and September we piloted our in-shop service with a trial of our Spring Summer 2018 collection, at Cubitts eyewear in Kings X, and a dedicated shop space in Glasgow's East end.

A diverse collection of wearers and non-wearers, fashion designers, prosthetics professionals and artists each joined us for a 30 minute one-to-one appointment to explore materials and finishes from the collection, before specifying and trying their hand design

Hands of X is currently featured in the Access + Ability exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian in NYC. You can read a New York Times feature on the exhibition here.

More images and writing on Hands of X will follow as a book. In the meantime, we'd be delighted to hear from you


A planchest drawer containing hand shapes made in subtly differing woods. We can see six but there are more out of frame. Other shapes are upholstered in different leathers: a simplified base of a thumb and a band across the knuckles. Holes in the hands allow these to be assembled as a jigsaw.

A hand viewed end-on, slightly clenched. The fingers are made of beech, a pale wood with a fine flecked grain familiar from chopping boards. The hand is abstracted, squarer than a human hand, with interlocking joints between each finger section. A tan leather gaiter is just visible over the thumb.

A man in a black jacket leans over a table where a man and a woman are seated. The woman is head of eyewear for a famous fashion brand; the man a renowned spectacle designer. The Hands of X salesperson is showing them different models of prosthetic hand, prior to them specifying their own.

A detail of another hand. The fingers are in a pale cedar wood. A partial leather glove in the darkest brown encases the knuckles, a discrete stitched seam just visible along the little finger. Two circular leather pads are on the inside faces of the index and middle fingers, opposite the thumb.


Hands of X is a collaboration between DJCAD at University of Dundee and Institute of Making at UCL, supported by RCUK.