Ergonomics & Design LAB

Ergonomics & Design

The Ergonomics & Design Laboratory operates in the field of Ergonomics applied to the assessment and design of spaces, products, services and equipment.

The scientific and operational aims of the Laboratory are the development and application of ergonomic assessment methodologies, both in the field of traditional ergonomics and in those of usability and Human-Centred Design.

The Laboratory operates in particular:

  • In the development of research programmes on ergonomics issues, with a special focus on security and usability in spaces, products and equipment, at all stages of design process, from the first idea to development and production. 

  • In the development of advanced services for public and private research entities, public administrations and companies, in the field of the ergonomics assessment of industrial products, equipment and facilities. 

  • In activities in support of teaching at all three levels of university education, in all aspects regarding the application and experimentation of methods, assessment procedures and ergonomic design. 

The Laboratory undertakes its activities in collaboration with the Sustainable Design Laboratory and the Design Modelling Laboratory of the Department of Architecture DIDA, together with the Occupational Medicine section of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, and the Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Florence.

The Laboratory works with:

UNI, Ente Italiano di Normazione
INAIL, Istituto Nazionale per l'Assicurazione contro gli infortuni sul lavoro, Toscana
GRC, Centro di Gestione del Rischio Clinico della Regione Toscana
SIE, Società Italiana di Ergonomia e Fattori umani
SIFO, Società Italiana dei Farmacisti ospedalieri
AIFOS, Associazione Italiana Formatori e operatori della Sicurezza sul Lavoro


The specific activities of the Ergonomics in Design Laboratory are:

  • usability assessment through objective evaluation procedures (expert assessment, task analysis, physical-dimensional assessment);

  • usability and safety in use assessments undertaken through involving users methods (user trials) both in the Laboratory and on field;

  • conformity with the technical UNI/ISO regulations concerning ergonomics; 

  • comparative testing of products;

  • development of design guidelines;

  • definition of innovative design concepts;

  • modelling and virtual simulation of the user-space-product interaction for the control of anthropometric and bio-mechanic parameters (in collaboration with the Occupational Medicine section of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine);

  • assessment of the sensorial effects of materials and surfaces (in collaboration with Sustainable Design Laboratory);

  • creation of prototypes for the development and verification of user trials (in collaboration with Design Modelling Laboratory).

Areas of intervention

  • daily use products;

  • systems and products;

  • products, equipment and work stations;

  • interface systems and control panels;

  • home and work spaces;

  • packaging systems;

  • sport products, equipment and facilities, both professional and amateur;

  • products, equipment and facilities for weak users (especially the elderly, handicapped and people with physical or sensory discomforts);

  • products, equipment and facilities for health and care purposes.

Contact us

Design Campus - Via Sandro Pertini, 93, 50040 Calenzano (FI)

Phone +39 055 2757074

Ergonomics & Design Lab

hosted by the Department of Architecture

as part of the Università degli Studi di Firenze