Body-Conscious Design: Shoes, Chairs, Rooms, and Beyond
General Catalog Course Title:
Body-Conscious Design: Shoes, Chairs, Rooms, and Beyond
Terms Offered:
Spring 2015
Fall 2013
Spring 2012
Spring 2011
Course Thread: 
Human-Centered Design
Instructor: 
Cranz, Galen

This seminar prepares students to evaluate and design environments from the point of view of how they interact with the human body. Tools and clothing modify that interaction. Semi-fixed features of the near environment, especially furniture, may have greater impact on physical well being and social-psychological comfort than fixed features like walls, openings, and volume. Today, designers can help redefine and legitimize new attitudes toward supporting the human body by, for example, designing for a wide range of postural alternatives and possibly designing new kinds of furniture. At the urban design scale, the senses of proprioception and kinesthetics can be used to shape architecture and landscape architecture. This course covers these topics with special emphasis on chair design and evaluation. The public health implications of a new attitude toward posture and back support are explored. The course heightens students' consciousness of their own and others' physical perceptions through weekly experiential exercises. Students produce three design exercises: shoe, chair, and a room interior.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.