Integrating ergonomics into engineering design: The role of objects

Lene Bjerg Hall-Andersen, Ole Broberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The objective of this study was to explore the role of objects in integrating ergonomic knowledge in engineering design processes. An engineering design case was analyzed using the theoretical concepts of boundary objects and intermediary objects: Boundary objects facilitate collaboration between different knowledge domains, while the aim of an intermediary object is to circulate knowledge and thus produce a distant effect. Adjustable layout drawings served as boundary objects and had a positive impact on the dialog between an ergonomist and designers. An ergonomic guideline document was identified as an intermediary object. However, when the ergonomic guidelines were circulated in the design process, only some of the guidelines were transferred to the design of the sterile processing plant. Based on these findings, recommendations for working with objects in design processes are included. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Ergonomics
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)647-654
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Engineering design
    • Intermediary objects
    • Boundary objects

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