Evaluation of Design Processes and Ergonomics of Urban Furniture in the Frame of Manufacturer and User Views
Kent Mobilyası Tasarım Süreci ve Ergonomisi
Keywords:Urban Furniture, Urban Furniture Design, Ergonomics, Urban Furniture Production Process
Urban furniture, other than being objects that are compatible with the environment and cultural characteristics, are objects that have uses for the needs of society. In the design of urban furniture, it is expected that many criteria such as the thought and belief systems of the citizens, durability, conformity with urban identity and environmental sensitivity are taken into consideration. In addition, since this furniture serve the entire human community in the surrounding area, there is a need for human-compatible and as inclusive designs as possible. In this study, the practices and approaches of urban furniture manufacturers towards the concept of urban furniture and the production process were investigated. While the production process is examined in general, the study focuses on what kind of work the manufacturers do for the ergonomics of urban furniture. In addition, the determination of the thoughts of urban furniture users about urban furniture in public spaces is another aim of the study. The research was carried out with a qualitative approach and a case study pattern was adopted. Within the scope of this research, semi-structured interview forms were used in the data collection process.
The designers’ presence in the urban furniture production process was determined as a criterion and the participants were determined by the criterion sampling method. Descriptive analysis was used in the analysis of the data. The participants of the research are 10 designers working in the production of urban furniture in three different big cities in Marmara, Aegean and Central Anatolia; consists of 30 citizens who use urban furniture and live in the same regions as the designers.
As a result of the research, it was concluded that the theoretical information given by the urban furniture designers included in the study is in parallel with the urban furniture design criteria obtained from the literature research. Urban furniture designers stated that ergonomics is one of the most important criteria in urban furniture design. With ergonomics, it has been stated that urban furniture has been made safer, more comfortable, aesthetic and useful for users. However, the designers stated that they used certain standards (TSE, specification conditions, TS EN 7941) within the scope of ergonomics criteria, but they did not carry out detailed studies on ergonomics. In this context, although the designers are aware of the importance of ergonomics in urban furniture, no activities other than the standards used for the development of ergonomics in urban furniture have been expressed in the process.
As a result of the analysis made as a result of the interviews with the users, the users generally stated that the urban furniture is not ergonomic. Although a limited number of users were interviewed within the study, it is thought that the findings have enough potential to guide the design process and make suggestions. Users reported physical problems about urban furniture such as hardness of materials, conductivity of hot or cold and discomfort due to product dimensions etc. According to the opinions of the users, another type of problem for the design of urban furniture is psychological problems. In this context, about urban furniture; there are no bulky, fun products and the same products do not create excitement for the users, etc. situations are specified. As another type of problem, statements were made about the inadequacy of urban furniture in terms of quantity. Although the majority of the interviewed users find it sufficient, another problem according to the opinions of the users is the adaptation of urban furniture to the urban identity. In this context, the lack of more modern products suitable for the city, different product expectations in the coastal areas, and the absence of symbolic products describing the city, etc. expressions are stated as problems.
Although it has been determined that the design and production processes are generally handled within the framework of the systematic of doing the work, it has been concluded that the motivation for conceptual and information-containing processes should be increased when today’s design approaches are more research and participant-oriented, together with the Sustainable Development Goals framework, which is a global agenda and orientation.