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Ergonomics in Design for All (EinDfA)


Studio Steffan-Design and Research,
Email: info@studiosteffan.it

Dr. and Emeritus Researcher of AIST KEN SAGAWA
AIST - National institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Email: sagawa-k@aist.go.jp

WELL Australia, Queensland
Email: ajp.phd.jp@gmail.com

Why a TC on Ergonomics and Design for All?

Human factors or Ergonomics is applied every day to improve the design and functioning of systems (products, services, environments) that people interact with. The IEA, as the official voice of the Ergonomics discipline, should express its views, opinions and expertise regarding this crossing and strategical field of application of ergonomics.
Design for All (called also Universal Design or Inclusive Design) is a transversal design approach that can be applied to communication systems, environments, public services and fast-moving consumer goods, so that each environment/product can be used by as broad a range of population as possible. It tends to identify a person-centred design, not a design for categories of people, that includes also the unexpressed needs of the broadest possible number of people, as well as their expectations, through a participatory process involving final users and decision-makers.
Real people/ users, are very different from each other’s, all of them should be considered and involved since the beginning of the process.
The TC on EinDfA can become the reference point for practitioners and researchers in the fields of ergonomics and design for industry and for users.
The TC will serve the needs of practicing ergonomists who are concerned with user interaction of environments, products, services show the effectiveness of the application of ergonomics knowledge and ergonomics principles to designers and demonstrate the importance and benefits of implementing ergonomics in the design for All process to any stakeholders (such as public institutions, public and private companies and their managers, etc).


1. To promote ergonomics in the process of Design for All (called also Universal Design or Inclusive Design)
- To improve and increase the ergonomics knowledge for application in Design for All
- To promote basic and applied ergonomic research as well as best ergonomic practice within the domain of Design for All

2. To promote global collaboration among members and organizations within the field of Design for All
- To facilitate cross-disciplinary communication among professionals all over the world with an interest in Design for All
- To improve the relationship between ergonomists and other actors involved in Design for All architects and engineers, product designers, interaction designers, marketers, stake holders, real users, firms, etc.

Domains of interest

The main domains of interest of the TC on EinDfA are:

1. Ergonomic role and contribution for involvement of real users in the design process:
- development of methods/methodologies for incorporating ergonomics in the design process
- implementation of ergonomic knowledge;

2. Ergonomic knowledge on human abilities and design goals:
- human abilities: sensory, physical, cognitive, emotional
- design goals: usability, accessibility, comfort, global and cultural user experiences, etc.

3. Application in all fields of design:
- urban design, transportation, architecture, interior design, product design, graphic design, communication design, ICT, tools, devices, web, computing, signage, etc.

Organizational Structure

The Technical Committee is a peer group of researchers, practitioners and educators without a hierarchical substructure.
Click below to download the list of TC members:

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Since 2006: Many events at regional/national/international level (e.g. round tables and Special Sessions within the Italian national Congresses)

February 2012: two talks on “Ergonomics and Design for All” (Tosi, F., Steffan, I.T.) and “Sustainability and accessibility: the Design for All approach” (Steffan, I.T) at the IEA World Congress Recife, Brazil.These papers have been published on Work. A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, n.41, supplement 1/2012, IOS Press, USA and can be accessed at: http://content.iospress.com/search?q=steffan&published_between=&from_year=&to

August 2015: one special session on “Ergonomics and Design for All” (A. Kong, J. Long, A. Petersen, I. Steffan, F. Tosi) and one talk on “Innovation and creativity in Design for All” (I.Steffan) were held at the 19th IEA World Congress Melbourne, AustraliaThese papers can be accessed at http://ergonomics.uq.edu.au/iea/proceedings/Index_files/papers/2018.pdf; and http://ergonomics.uq.edu.au/iea/proceedings/Index_files/papers/887.pdf


European Commission, Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities DG (2010) Standardisation mandate to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI to include “design for all” in relevant standardisation initiatives, M473.

Gheerawo R., Eikhaug O., (2010) “Innovating with people – The business of Inclusive Design” The Norwegian Design Council, Oslo, Norway.

Preiser, Wolfgang (2010) Universal Design handbook McGraw Hill, New York.

Steffan, I.T – edited by - (2014) “Design for All – The project for everyone. Methods, tools, applications. First part”, pp.249, (http://www.maggiolieditore.it/ebook/tecnica/design-for-all-the-project-for-everyone-first-part.html) Ed. Maggioli, Santarcangelo di Romagna (Rimini)

Steffan, I.T – edited by - (2014) “Design for All – The project for everyone. Methods, tools, applications. Second part”, pp.234, (http://www.maggiolieditore.it/ebook/tecnica/design-for-all-the-project-for-everyone-second-part.html) Ed. Maggioli, Santarcangelo di Romagna (Rimini)

Steffan, I.T – guest editor -(2014) “Design for All” Newsletter n.10 Vol. 9 del Design for All Institute of India, pp.280, Ed. Shri L.K. Das Former Head Industrial Design Center, Indian Institute of Technology New Delhi (INDIA), http://www.designforall.in/newsletter.html

Various authors, (2007) “Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) in Kyoto”, IAUD Tokyo, Japan.

Action Plan

Activities Description Responsible Milestones
Organize parallel sessions/workshops for the IEA World Congress in 2018 - Florence, Italy
Planning and review of session proposals
Chair and co-chair
According to congress specifications