Category Archives: design research

Advice on design topics for students

Book by designer David Airey and it is a great advice for design students and professionals.

“Student designers and those new to the profession often ask me for advice on topics related to branding and visual identity work.
These articles and resources were pieced together with the intention of saving everyone a little time.” from designer David Airey.

Find the design resources at his site. – Pricing, contracts, researching, branding, presenting to clients.

Biophilic Industrial Design – Olus

Since Biophilic design is a new field, design proposals are still kind of primitive or focusing on interior design and architecture, it is hard to find a good example of biophilic design applied to product design.

Therefore I was glad to find this product by designer Louie Duncan, which is a great example of applying biophilic design for industrial design – product design.

Find more about OLUS at his page.

Want to know more about Biophilic Design? Visit my post about it.

What is biophilic design?

A look at the work of social ecologist Stephen Kellert outlines the theory and practice of incorporating nature in design.

With nature it is possible to improve the built environment – that’s the idea behind biophilic design. Intended to create a good habitat for human beings, its fundamental goal is to promote physical and mental health, fitness and wellbeing.

It’s a concept rooted in human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes, suggesting that this connection is a part of our genetic makeup built up over hundreds of thousands of years living in an agrarian society.

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D&T9: Kaitlyn Debiasse, Human Factors

Kirsty Thompson

Kaitlyn Debiasse, GSA Product Design Lecturer, took this week’s Design and Technology event. She spoke about human factors, inclusivity, and personalisation within design.

Most products are designed for 50th percentile male of average size and weight. An example of this is cars. For those who do not fall within this small percentage are much more likely to be injured of even killed. In fact, any seatbelt wearing female in a vehicle has 73% greater odds of being seriously injured – yet nothing has been done about it. This really annoys me, why should our lives be risked just because we aren’t of average male size? Why are we still designing for the 50th percentile male? What about females? Children? People who are above and below the average male? An average man is not an average human!

Female Increased Risk of Injury – Estimated increase of risk for moderate injuries in…

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Generative Design Study – Walking Aid

It´s is great how generative design proposals look closer to Nature – organic shapes. Is there any specific reason for that?

Funkifying a Year at MMU - MSc Industrial Digitalisation

For one of the final taught units on the MSc Industrial Digitalisation programme at PrintCity MMU, I was required to perform and document a Generative Design Study using Autodesk Fusion 360 and its Generative Design Workspace.

This was a really rewarding study, having never personally used Fusion 360 before September 2020, let alone exploring the Gen-Design component of the software.

I chose to explore the design of a common medical device – the four-legged Walking Aid.

Device abandonment reported in literature relates to a user’s needs not being met, aesthetically, socially or physically – often leading to complications such an increase in upper extremity joint stress.

Of interest is the potential to factor into the design exact user measurements, such as height and elbow flexion angle, to produce a user centred solution. The resulting design could be produced in a ‘production line of one’, utilising increasingly accessible Additive Manufacturing technology.

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Ergonomics from Ethnography: Inclusive Design Insights


P.J. White


As user centred design methods become more important for inclusive design, designers increasingly use methods borrowed from other disciplines such as Ethnography to gain insights into user behaviour. But what are the advantages in using ethnography to understand ergonomic requirements? And what form of insights does it result in? This paper offers findings and reflections from a design ethnographic case study of older people. It found that advantages in using ethnography lies in the depth and breadth of findings, resulting in a broad range of ergonomic and usability insights, and a deep understanding of lead users.


inclusive design, user centred design, usability, older people, aging, ageing, lead users, product design, anthropology, ethnographic research


Since the 1960s, inclusive and universal design approaches have offered designers strong guidelines to ensure that they include the greatest extent of users (Mace, 1997). These guidelines are commonly used as the…

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