Enabling Technologies during Childhood

The current habilitation project investigates the development of 3D printed prostheses that maker networks have voluntarily provided children from a sociology of technology and the body perspective. It is based on the assumption that, for various reasons, developing prostheses for children does not represent a normalization practice as it is characterized by enhancement rather than (the desire for) normality. While the families/parents often want to achieve normality for their child through prosthesis, makers primarily strive for enhancement through individual development and design, e.g. with superheroes. In doing so, children play a decisive role in the process of morphological (self-)determination and express the desire for active (re)design beyond the technological-fix narrative. The 3D-printed prosthesis and its significance is accordingly contested in the conflict between normality and enhancement. This work emphasizes the child's body and its form as a product of society, with the child actively shaping socio-(bio)technical processes.