WHAT IS ERGONOMIC DESIGN?

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Everyone talks about it, but what is ergonomic design? Ergonomic design is all about form and function. Designers will use the principles of ergonomics in every aspect of their design.

In terms of layout, ergonomics is about understanding the minimum spatial requirement for circulation and furniture. Using ergonomics in this sense is about understanding how these requirements will vary from space to space in regards to the function of the room.

Ergonomic office design is interior design maximising productivity, by minimising fatigue and discomfort felt by the people working there. Ergonomic design is all about using interiors to optimise the primary function of the space.

In restaurant design, ergonomics is about creating a design, which is both comfortable and pleasant for your guests. In this design, you need to consider flow of circulation. Between the kitchen and the tables, how people will enter, the relationship and flows to the bathrooms, the efficiency for the waiters to meet customer’s needs, the space and equipment requirement for the chefs to produce the food of a required quantity and quality.

When you are designing the kitchen to a restaurant, you need to consider the space required not only for the chefs to make and prepare food, but also for the dispatch area for deliveries, a connection between the kitchen and the serving area wide enough to accommodate the flow of staff, storage area. You want to keep distances short; you do not want food to go cold by the time you get it to the customer. You need a waste disposal out of sight and away from any risk of contamination and should avoid cross over circulation paths to avoid accidents; from having something being dropped, spilt or broken, or landing on a customer.

Flexibility within ergonomic design is crucial. A design needs to be able to grow and develop with the changing and evolving demand of the interior’s function. When you are designing, keep in mind how the space will be used, the potential for future renovation and the cafe or restaurant/bar’s the various serving styles.

In any ergonomic design, you should accommodate for the flow variations, for customers and for staff. A successful design will perfectly regulate foot traffic and accommodate enough space according to the footfall quantity. When you think of ergonomic design, think about designing for efficiency.

Aesthetically, ergonomic design is about pleasing people’s psyche. Your design should use the correct balance of colours, lighting and style/décor to optimise a pleasing aesthetic for the customer. It is important that the design does not go overboard; this will create an unpleasant, uncomfortable and cluttered aesthetic. To avoid clutter its best to pre-plan the need for storage facilities and the incorporate solutions into the design. To avoid this, when choosing colours and materials, think about the tones, finishes and textures and try to choose samples that complement each other.

Technically, in a perfect ergonomic design all the finishes will be durable with hardwearing floors that can withstand large amounts of footfall traffic. Your design would incorporate, flexible, portable storage solutions to make circulation easier for the staff and the utilisation of wall space efficiently; for kitchens this can mean using cabinets and wall mount racks and shelving units to maximise productivity for the staff.

In conclusion, a successful ergonomic design is an interior created around nothing but optimising its sole function, ensuring that the resulting interior maximises the efficiency and productivity of its use.

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