The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) has launched its Furniture Design Toolkit (FDT), providing furniture designers with a way in which to incorporate ergonomics, user trials, standards and legislation into the design process. The FDT also acts as a useful point of reference for specifiers and interior designers to help them understand how furniture can better suit its environment and intended users.
The FDT has a dedicated section that specifically looks at contract furniture, including hospitality settings.
Sukhneet Assee, design ergonomist at FIRA International, says: “The FDT is a really excellent resource for anyone involved in designing or choosing furniture. Using a hotel room as an example, we know that the way people are using furniture is changing and so some standard hotel furniture may not cater for someone who wants to work for longer hours and stay comfortable.
“Choosing furniture that has been ergonomically assessed and has undergone user trials is likely to be more comfortable, and this can be used as a unique selling point to potential customers and encourage repeat business.
“Understanding furniture standards is also useful when purchasing or specifying furniture, as the standard height for a desk in an office is 74cm, but a desk in a hotel room may be too high or too low and make it uncomfortable to work for prolonged periods. Regardless of where you want to work, ergonomics and good design are essential for creating a comfortable and efficient workplace.”
The FDT details the correct standards and legislation for different types of seating, tables/work surfaces and storage furniture for a range of environments. It provides information about ergonomic design principles that go beyond the standards and explains the benefits of using anthropometrics, user trials and task analysis.