Spontaneous design in shopfloors as sources for inclusive design



Although industrial work tends to be thought of as standardised, monotonous and simple, a closer look reveals that there is space for worker inventiveness, that the job changes and that it its charged with embodied complexity1. Workers appropriate their workspaces and change them to improve productivity or working conditions2 – doing this, they engage in Spontaneous Design.
Project Craft is investigating spontaneous design in industrial shopfloors through a mixed-methods approach, by engaging in qualitative fieldwork and co-design. Using Research through Design, we are investigating the role of Spontaneous Design as a source of information, inquiry and inspiration for new methods towards worker inclusion, particularly for human-machine interaction (HMI).
With this exploratory project we expect to achieve two outcomes: 1) an inventory of spontaneous designs in industrial shopfloors, and 2) a collection of artifacts/prototypes demonstrating how knowledge from spontaneous design can be used by designers to improve HMI towards inclusion.

At a time when industry faces challenges of keeping up with digital transformation, while securing sufficient and highly skilled workers, identifying ways of creating more inclusive workstations and improving working conditions will be critical for business sustainability3 and for design research as being able to play a role in it.


Project Reference: 2022.01777.PTDC

1 Correia de Barros A (2022). Inclusive Design within Industry 4.0: A Literature Review with an Exploration of the Concept of Complexity. The Design Journal, 25(5):849-866.
2 Correia de Barros, A., Correia, C., Moutinho, R., Lemos, G., Resende, C., Cunha, L., Silva, D., Maggioli, S., Amorim, S.B. (2022). Design and Evaluation of a Device for Ecological Momentary Assessment with Workers in a Garment Factory. In: Shuichi Fukuda (eds) Affective and Pleasurable Design. AHFE (2022) International Conference. AHFE Open Access, vol 41. AHFE International, USA.
3 Romero D, Stahre J, Wuest T, Noran O, Bernus P, Fast-Berglund A, and Gorecky D (2016). Towards An Operator 4.0 Typology: A Human-Centric Perspective On The Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies. In Computers & Industrial Engineering.


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