Design agency IA Collaborative has launched a campaign to reissue the original Humanscale design manuals, originally created by Henry Dreyfuss Associates designers Niels Diffrient and Alvin R. Tilley and published from 1974-81. The three books and nine measurement guides aimed to provide designers, engineers, architects and inventors with the ergonomic information to design products for people.
The books pre-empted the furniture and product design company Humanscale, now known around the world for its human-centred approach to design. Using the manuals, designers had access to a huge amount of human data to apply to their work in a reference guide coined by IA as “a portfolio of information”. While out of print, editions of Humanscale would reach high sums through online resale.
IA Collaborative’s Luke Westra, Nathan Ritter and Dan Kraemer have worked with some of Humanscale’s original creators and printers to republish the books and guides via a Kickstarter campaign, launched today 25 July 2017.
“All products – from office chairs to medical devices – require designs that ‘fit’ the end user,” says Luke. “Finding the human factors data one needs to achieve these ‘fits’ can be extremely challenging as it is often scattered across countless sources. That is, unless you’ve been lucky enough to get your hands on the Humanscale manuals.”
Nathan comments: “After finding so much value in using the Humanscale manuals in our work, we want to make them available at a reasonable cost. We want as many people to learn from these tools as possible.”
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