Learning Human Factors/Ergonomics (HFE) in Architectural Education: A Study of Studio Approach in Bangladesh
Keywords:Human factor, Ergonomics, Architecture education, Studio-based education
All the human activities take place in the built environment and therefore human factors/ergonomics (HFE) is an essential design consideration for the built environment designing process. Surprisingly, there have been limited studies on integrating HFE in the design process as well as in the education of architecture. Teaching HFE in architecture is different from teaching HFE in the disciplines that focuses on precise ergonomic application. Architectural education primarily deals with accommodating human activities in the built environment; and therefore, teaching HFE focuses on anthropometry, space standards, and an in-depth understanding of space requirements for relevant human activities. In architectural education, HFE can be taught as theory courses and/or in the design studio courses. This article focuses on the studio approach with an overview of several studio courses and a meticulous study of a studio course that teaches HFE principles. The study follows desktop research, participant observation, and a questionnaire survey. It is observed that the studio approach provides an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the HFE principles and their application in space design. Specifically, the practice of learning within the studio setup, group work and peer critique, assessment and feedback with critique sessions before the evaluation, etc. have a profound impact on the students to internalize
HFE in their thought process. A survey among the students also indicates the effectiveness of the studio approach for learning HFE.
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