Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems Studio


Project 1
Human Machine interaction

How to translate information from and about stakeholders into knowledge applicable for design purposes?

Interaction design in complex safety-critical systems requires dealing with human behavior and meaning-making within dynamic, uncertain environments. Typically, the study of these systems and human technology interaction within it lies in the province of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE). HFE has historically been dominated by the sciences, both psychology and physiology. As a result, the emphasis on design thinking has been limited. While designers use science, design is not a straightforward application of science. It is unclear how the varied and abundant psychological models pertaining on safety provide designers with actual means for interaction design in safety-critical systems.

Project 2
Human Factors Awareness

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Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) is central to supporting the design, evaluation, operation and maintenance of human-centric systems in a variety of disciplines ranging from and not limited to design, engineering and management. As a realm of knowledge, HFE transcends disciplinary boundaries. However, in its current practice in India, HFE does not have a widespread recognition or cohesive identity. Towards this end, researchers at HFSSS develop flashcards and snippets that can be downloaded by students to spread awareness and knowledge about basics of HFE as a subject. Thus, these instructonal flashcards and snippets provide an understanding and basic sensitivity towards HFE.

Project 3
India's Disasters over the Decades

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The aim of this website is to highlight the loss of lives of Indians. We focus on public reporting of accidents that tells us the hidden loss of lives. In India, people die due to multiple reasons ranging from the dramatic to the seemingly inconsequential. Indians lose their lives to train accidents, chemical fires, gas leakage as well as other high profile accidents. While these accidents have been well documented and received public recognition, there are a many accidents that do not make a dent in the public conscience. People in India also die because of falling into open manholes, caving in of house roofs during rains, electrocution due to naked electric lines in slums, gas cylinders bursting in populated areas.

As a nation of 130 crore people, the life of every Indian is important. The website tries to sensitize Indians towards the need for reducing accidents and enhancing safety in the public sphere.

Accimap and crowd flow in urban infrastructure: Case study of Elphinstone road railway station tragedy, Mumbai, India

Project 4
Digitalization in India

Emergent users are those users of information technology who have started using mobile phones or internet for the first time in their lives. They may be from disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g. poor, uneducated) and may often be located in the peripheries away from urban, commercial and political cultures. One of the most prominent challenges of human technology interaction in India as well as other resource-constrained countries in the global south is designing for the emergent user. The emergent user while disadvantaged in a variety of aspects presents some interesting challenges from the standpoint of user modelling. A crucial challenge is locating the emergent user in terms of the present human-centered technology discourses.

Challenges In Supporting The Emergent User

Ecological interface design and emergent users: Designing forsmall‐scale trucking ecology in India

Sociotechnical Dimension of Trucking in India: Possibilities for Digitalization

Project 5
Design and Engineering Knowledge

How designers and engineers know, and act on that knowledge, has a profound impact on society. Consequently, the analysis of design and engineering knowledge is one of the central challenges for the philosophy of design and engineering. The ramifications of understanding design and engineering epistemology has a direct impact on human-centered design and human systems integration.

Taking Stock of Engineering Epistemology: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

Project 6
Speculative Design

Can You See My Pain?

Chronic pain presents a rather unique design challenge. Unlike the traditional view of pain, in which it is often to be averted, chronic pain cannot be simply done away with. Thus, the emphasis of our approach is to address pain as revealed and expressed. We adopt a research by design approach for creating evocative objects for chronic pain management by developing solidarity. The paper develops on critical perspectives on pain and embodiment in conjunction with the design process to arrive at an evocative object. These objects enable supporting solidarity between the one who suffers and the one who seeks to understand the suffering.

Can You See my Pain? Evocative Objects for Comprehending Chronic Pain

Human work experience in industry 5.0

The aim of this article is to comprehend human work experience in industry 5.0. In the next generation of human systems integration, the major challenge will be to incorporate creative experiences of people with technologies. This aspect will be particularly salient when using Asset Performance management Systems. In this article, we use a qualitative futures planning approach with a speculative design methodology to comprehend human experience in next generation work systems. We propose that by incorporating human experience, we need to characterize these systems as Holistic Asset Performance Management systems that consider the human without reducing it to the mechanistic component. By building on the speculative enactment method, this research also explores the advantages of involving actual creative individuals in the enactment process to achieve better results. It concludes with speculations for the future of APM systems and raises certain questions related to ethics.

Holistic Asset Performance Management Systems: Speculative design for Industrial APM systems and human work experience in an Industry 5.0 setting