Year: 2015
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: André Liem
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Product Design
Section: Design Teaching Methods
Page(s): 357-362
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


The current debate in ergonomics centres on the innovation of future products and services. Inherently,
this implies a shift from being customer to need oriented, paving the way for a more progressive type
of ergonomics, namely “prospective ergonomics”. Prospective ergonomics is a sub-discipline of
ergonomics, which shares a common ground with strategic design, through the anticipation of
undiscovered needs of stakeholders with respect to imagining new products and services. The aim of
this article is twofold. First it discusses the relationship between Prospective Ergonomics and strategic
design from an overarching strategic management perspective (see figure 1). Hereby, relationships
among strategic management, strategic design and prospective ergonomics will be elaborated using
selected business, design and ergonomic frameworks and models. Secondly, it proposes and argues for
certain design reasoning perspectives with respect to generic strategy perspectives
Results indicate that strategic design, is mostly aimed at profit making, whereas in prospective
ergonomics a balance between performance / productivity on one hand and human well being on the
other hand is sought after. Moreover, understanding the dynamics among strategy perspectives, modes
of design reasoning, strategic design, and prospective ergonomic modes of thinking allows educators,
practitioners and students to be more conscious about their design attitudes and the range of methods
and tools they are able to use to target different types of value

Keywords: Prospective ergonomics, generic strategies, design reasoning modes, strategic design

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