Teaching HFE in Industrial/Product Design Courses in Portugal
Authors: Ana Cristina Dias, Rita Almendra, Fernando Moreira da Silva
Abstract: This paper aims to present the results of a critical diagnosis about the presence of human factors and ergonomics contents into the academic curricula of industrial/product design in Portugal. This study is part of a PhD research focused on product design curricula’s adequacy to business challenges. Based on the gathering and interpretation of several Portuguese design education curricula, it turns out that the introduction of the practice of HFE is rarely linked with the design studio course, operating isolated, mostly as a theoretical course. However, the approach of human factors and ergonomics should be more practical and better linked with the design studio curricular unit. As previous conclusions of this study one can point out that there are better results in the education field when the HFE principles are earlier transmitted in the education process, which would have clear impacts on the quality and nature of the proposed design solutions, adding value to the final product. This way, students could be more prepared to respond with more social sustainable projects, increasing the chances of being more prepared and adjusted to the market and its demands.
Keywords: Design Education, Product Design; Human Factors and Ergonomics;
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