The Role of Ergonomics in Sustainable Design

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The Role of Ergonomics in Sustainable Design
Radjiyeb, Ayubkhon
Kim, KwanMyung
Sustainability; Sustainable design; Sustainable development; Ergonomics; Human factors engineering
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Graduate School of UNIST
Sustainable development has become a widely used term for novice and professional researchers and practitioners in various fields, including ergonomics. However, the role of ergonomics in sustainability is poorly understood and the current proposed ergonomic directions (in this thesis namely ergonomic lens) to deal with sustainability issues do not well represent the discipline’s core competencies. In this thesis, I propose a new direction for ergonomics intervention to sustainable design by conducting a systematic review of literature in the fields of sustainable development, sustainable design and ergonomics, carrying out a design of a case study. In this regard, first, I discuss the concept of sustainable development and sustainable design in breadth, in order to define the basic requirements of sustainability. Next, I review and discuss papers defining ergonomics in terms of its research aims and objectives. Then I review currently proposed directions for ergonomic intervention to sustainable design. Finally, I propose a new approach for ergonomics to deal with sustainable design issues. That is, safety, comfort and efficiency in products and systems can be sustainable by applying ergonomic design methods. To test this approach, I conducted a case study of a design project focusing, especially on safety attribute of a motorcycle helmet. The factors (e.g. rapidly growing information technologies change motorcyclists riding activity, motorcyclists want more technology involved in helmets, etc.) making safety unsustainable were identified and a new sustainable helmet was designed in safety perspective. The sustainably improved safety feature of the helmet was validated by conducting survey from stakeholders. The current ergonomics direction in sustainable design does not fit its core competencies that are maximizing safety, comfort and efficiency. Through this research I show that ergonomics can contribute to sustainable design by designing products and systems that are sustainably safe, comfortable and efficient.
Integrated Industrial Design
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