The importance of common sense: ergonomics in design education

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Davies, Philippa; Bingham, Guy
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: De Montfort University, United Kingdom; 2: Loughborough University, United Kingdom
Section: Best Practice in Design Education
Page(s): 046-051
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


Ergonomics is often just considered by designers and engineers as ‘common sense’. Given this perception what is the rationale for including ergonomics with Product Design curriculums? This paper investigates the current varying provision of formal ergonomics teaching within UK’s Product Design undergraduate degree programmes and explores the perceived importance of teaching ergonomics to designers, from the perspective of both lecturers and students. In exploring the potential links between the UK’s innovation driven economy and ergonomics, the paper argues the importance of designers with an ergonomic skill set to address market changes and identify user-led innovation opportunities.

Keywords: Ergonomics, human factors, design education, design curriculums


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