At last year's Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) conference, Paralympian runner Blake Leeper, who was born without legs below the knee, gave a keynote presentation. He stood on his blades as he challenged the audience of industrial designers to help advance the technology, which hasn't changed much in recent years.

Two companies, Altair (known for product design and development) and Eastman (a chemicals and plastics manufacturing supplier), decided to take Leeper up on his challenge to come up with a series of concepts for next-generation blades. For four and a half months, teams from the two companies consulted with Leeper and tweaked their designs, emerging with what they call an "F1" concept--a top of the line, premium set of blades that are fit for an Olympic or Paralympic athlete. The design is being officially unveiled this week, at the 2014 IDSA conference.

Read the full story on the Fast Company website

Learn more about Altair's and Eastman's collaboration, view videos and follow Blake's Road to Rio

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more. For story ideas: ariel[at]


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