Saturday, July 22, 2006

Interview with Niels Diffrient, creator of Humanscale's Freedom chair, Liberty chair

An interview with an early ergonomics expert ...

"You’ve been involved with designing for ergonomics since it was referred to as "human factors engineering." How have you seen ergonomics develop over the years?

Ergonomics is not that old a practice as an organized pursuit. Largely, that only began with any amount of seriousness after Word War II. During the war, the implements of warfare began to get so sophisticated it was necessary to adapt them to the potential of the soldiers. So the army, mostly, began to collect data on the sizes of its soldiers. Theirs was the first organized effort to keep data and it grew from there. This first serious collection of data was then available for peace-time use after the war.

How did you become an ergonimics expert?

People connect me with human factors, or ergonomics, but I don’t consider myself an expert in this field. I’m committed to making sure that my products fit and adapt to the people who are going to use them. Therefore, I’m a very committed user of all the data and experience that grows out of ergonomics. I know because I’ve published in the field, it’s assumed I’m some kind of academic who has a concentration in human factors, but I remain a designer."   (Continued via Pure Contemporary)       [Ergonomics Resources]

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