Beyond Ergonomics: Visions of the Body in Product Design
Authors: Rui Dias a, Leonor Ferrão b
Abstract: The human body, as the source for the project but also its addressee (that is, as the place of departure and arrival), has been understood in a variety of ways. Following one possible line of thought, the body has been – and continues to be – a metric, geometric-mathematical, anatomical, physiological, biomechanical, bionic, psychic, sensory and social place. Products have clear links to the human body: they are designed for its use and enjoyment, they complement or complete it, they help create ties with the physical world, they aid its social and cultural participation, and they join the body in its sphere of action. In this article, we will revise visions of the body in Design Theory and Criticism literature, but also using literature in Philosophy, Anthropology and Sociology of the Body, that is, literature relating to cultural and social considerations of the body that are less often considered in the practice of Product Design and which we believe to be essential. We intend, then, to present and discuss a multiple (malleable) model of the body to be useful for product designers.
Keywords: Product Design, Human Body, Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology of the Body
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