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Anthropometrics


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A systematic study of the measurement of humans, anthropometrics was increasingly used in the decades following the end of the Second World War by designers concerned with design problems that involved human movement. Their adoption of a more scientific and methodical approach to design problems had much in common with the approaches explored at the Hochschule für Gestaltung at Ulm from the mid‐1950s and the Design Methods movement in the 1960s. Both favoured a team‐based approach over the conceptions of the individual (and thus fallible) designer. The origins of anthropometrics developed alongside ergonomics (the systematic analysis of work efficiency relating users to their environment) in the Second World War. Used in the design of the controls of military equipment and other fields, the armed forces in the United States and Britain provided guides for their designers. Studies such as W. E. Woodson's Human Engineering for Equipment Designers were published in the USA in 1954. It was also brought into the mainstream design arena by Henry Dreyfuss whose Designing for People was published in 1955. Other well‐known texts in the field have included Alexander Kira's The Bathroom Book (1966), which was concerned with problems of designing for cleanliness and hygiene and was based on a seven‐year research project at Cornell University.

See also Ergonomics.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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