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Module 1: Storia del Design

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Design is Concerned With the User

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So, if practically everything around us is designed, can every designer design everything?Of course not, most designers have their own domain expertise as you showed in the treeof design. Each discipline has developed its own skill set, tools and design processes.Not to mention super specializations within disciplines.Meet my colleague Professor B K Chakravarthy, a product designer on our faculty here atIDC. He will be joining us for some of the modules, welcome Professor Chakravarthy.Thanks Nina, and cheers to all the design enthusiasts out there, design mediates acrossseveral disciplines.Design creates access.Design enables.And design facilitates, it does this through a process of identifying needs, and solvingproblems to enhance everyday living. At its core, design is concerned with the user andso we say that design is human-centered. Let’s explain what we mean by design beinghuman-centered. Take this office chair, Professor Chakravarthy will explain what makes thispiece of furniture a designed object, and what went into creating it.Who does not love a good chair? But what does a good chair mean to you Nina?A chair that is kind to one’s back? Yes, comfort is of major importance, the userdoes not want to end up with aches and pains. So the core requirement is being able to sitfor long hours without discomfort. The office chair is a pretty good example of user centereddesign. Let us trace the design steps that must have gone into creating this office chairright here.First of all, the designer would have determined the overall dimensions for adults, we willbe using this chair.The anthropometric data, in other words, is the data of the human body, so as to benefitthe maximum number of people. Because here the challenge is that the chair is going tobe mass produced and people with different dimensions should be comfortable using it.How can it then be useful to different human beings, some short and some tall, some hefty,and some slender? The answer lies in the concept of adaptability.At the outset, the designer of this chair would have calculated the various adjustmentsneeded to fit all sizes.The seat height is easily adjusted by this pneumatic adjustment lever on my right. Thisallows the user to have their feet flat on the floor. I will do this, just to show howthis works.My feet are on the floor.And my hands are horizontal to the desk, now my thighs are horizontal and this is a verycomfortable position for working for long hours. The next important parameter is theback support. Please adjust my chair..Would you turn Nina? This chair has a wonderful lumbar support adjustment. The knobs overhere allow the back to take the curvature of the lumbar, and this way you will be ableto get the right contour at the back. Wow it is quite restful.The seat cushion is also a very important feature. Care has to be taken so that it isnot too soft. And at the same time, it has to be firm so that you can actually move andyour posture will then be better. It should not be hard either, because if it is hard,it can hurt. .Did you see this chair has this wonderful netting in the back? This netting lets youhave air circulation and it also moulds itself to the contours of the upper back. Now, letus sit down and examine the accessories which give us the additional comfort. The armrestswhich reduce strain in the arms, the swivel, the wheels which let us move chair forwardand backward. Why do these office chairs have so many legsand all these wheels? All chairs have at least 5 prongs in the bottom,because these make the chair very stable, especially when you reach out for something,you could easily fall down. And the wheels are very important because when you are workingyour posture is very good, to come close to the table and when you need to get up, youneed to move backward and get up slowly like this.Thanks that was most enlightening.