C13 Use of ergonomic and anthropometric data

Posted: October 7, 2010 in CORE

Initial knowledge – 1

Current working knowledge – 2.5

I have what I would consider a basic knowledge of ergonomic and anthropometric data.  Ergonomics is designing for humans, considering things such as the average size of children or hand and body size.  Collectively calling this information anthropometric data and using things such as finger length and hand span when thinking about creating something such as a hand-held toy.

It can be used to determine average group sizes such as height, reach, grip and sight lines and is important to gather the information as collectively as a species it has been proven that we are getting bigger on average.

I will need to look at this more closely when doing some of the mini tasks to gain a better understanding of why it is important and how it can affect my designs.

ED320 has been the first project I have done where ergonomics and researching ergonomics has been vital.  When coming up with an initial range of ideas I added measurements to the drawings that I felt would be a good representation of what was needed.  It wasn’t until I got back into the workshop and got my hands on a meter rule that I realised my estimations were off the mark and under valued.  As a result I obtained a few relative books including the Symposium on Sitting posture (Zurich), The measure of Men and Women Human Factors of Design (Dreyfuss) and Bodyspace (Pheasant) amongst others as well as using some of the ergonomic data in the wood working manuals I was studying.  The information included became vital for the designing and final dimensioning for my space saving unit.  The unit itself is designed to be universal so it was useful to compare the average heights and seated heights of both large men to small women.  The data included important information such as the space needed between chair and desk to accommodate leg room, knee clearance needed, common desk heights, the height a backrest needs to to aid support, minimum width for leg clearance, necessary elbow room needed and more important factors that I considered and used and all went towards the dimensioning for my final piece.  By looking across the different texts I was able to cumulate appropriate sizings that I felt would help produce a functional but ergonomically comfortable unit that could be universally used by anybody.  Without access to this information it would have been very difficult to produce a suitable solution and this indicates the importance of not only researching and being aware of ergonomic and anthropometric data but actually using the findings to create relevant comfortable solutions.

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