Human Dimension & Interior space
A source book of design reference standards
byJulius Panero and Martin Zelnik
Over the past 30 years, physical anthropologists have been concerned with the documentation and description of human body size variability and its application to design. A significant problem continues to exist, however, in the communication of such knowledge to the wide variety of potential users, the design community. The diversity of this group of users is broad, ranging from designers of workspaces such as aircraft cockpits or offices, through pattern makers and clothiers, to designers of respirators and other personal protective equipment. Equally as diverse are the needs of the users. For example, a designer of an office has little use for a dimension such as neck circumference, while a clothier or pattern maker may consider it vital. Furthermore, users often need information about different segments of the population, perhaps about children, coal miners, college students, office workers, factory workers, etc., and each user may require a different type of analysis or data presentation. It is, therefore, extremely helpful for the anthropologist to communicate effectively with each of the many specialists within the specific framework of their particular design problems. It is thus very gratifying to find that the authors of this book, both experienced professionals in their field, have taken on the complex task of bridging the gap not only by bringing to architects and interior designers much valuable anthropometric information in usable form but more importantly, by conveying so persuasively the concept that untapped resources of relevant body size information exist and that its use has much potential impact on the improvement of workspace and residential design. In their presentation, the authors strike an excellent balance, avoiding the pitfalls of overwhelming the reader with needless technical complexities and resisting the simple- minded approach which has so often in the past conveyed the mistaken impression that a few tables of summary values will provide the answers to specific design problems. I have long been an advocate of relating the basic anthropometric data to a specific designer's needs, and the authors' clear treatment for a special audience is particularly gratifying. The real beneficiaries ultimately, will be office workers, small children, and handicapped persons, to name but a few of the many consumer groups with specialized needs. INTRODUCTION
The fascination of philosophers, artists, theoreticians, and architects with human body size dates back many centuries. In the only complete treatise on architecture surviving from antiquity. Vitruvius, who lived in 1st century b.c. Rome, wrote: For the human body is so designed by nature that the face, from the chin to the top of the forehead and the lowest roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole height; the open hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is just the same; the head from the chin to the crown is an eighth, and with the neck and shoulder from the top of the breast to the lowest roots of the hair is a sixth; from the middle of the breast to the summit of the crown is a fourth. If we take the height of the face itself, the distance from the bottom of the chin to the underside of the nostrils is one third of it; the nose from the underside of the nostrils to a line between the eyebrows is the same; from there to the lowest roots of the hair is also a third, comprising the forehead. The length of the foot is one sixth of the height of the body; of the forearm, one fourth; and the breadth of the breast is also one fourth. The other members, too, have their own symmetrical proportions, and it was by employing them that the famous painters and sculptors of antiquity attained to great and endless renown. Then again, in the human body the central point is naturally the navel. For if a man be...
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