When Winston Frazer ’16 (Painting B.F.A.) was a junior at MICA, his experience during a Summer Travel Intensive to the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe brought his future into focus.
I met a lot of amputees in São Tomé and Príncipe and it struck me how happy they were. Their attitude toward life was unlike that of amputees I met in the U.S. They were amazing and tough, and that mindset is what I'm trying to give amputees around the world through Danae Prosthetics."
Frazer, who studied both photography and painting at MICA and liked to experiment with media, had "a lot of different ideas about what I could do" as a student. By his junior year, he knew he wanted to pursue something in the scientific field and merge that interest with his fine arts abilities. And it was the trip to São Tomé and Príncipe that helped inspire his idea to use 3D technology to provide artistically crafted prosthetic covers to amputees.
He began pursuing that idea as his senior's thesis and said that faculty in the class Design Methodology provided the fine arts and technical expertise to further develop his concept.
Today, Frazer and fellow MICA alumnus Austin Peppel '15 (Environmental Design B.F.A.) have launched Danae Prosthetics with the support of a project manager, software engineer, and a slew of interns. Their goal is to help amputees around the world embrace their lives through the ability to tell their story through personalized, uniquely crafted prosthetic covers. Currently using research to prototypes their products, the team at Danae recently secured funding through MICA's Up/Start venture capital competition, giving them the ability to finish developing software and build out more digital light processing (DLP) machines that will allow them to go fully into production.
When creative and scientific approaches come together, you create more - the outcome is just going to be better," Frazer said. "That's why I wanted to create a company that has those two ways of working come together."