Big Systems

Human Dimension & Interior Space


Ergonomic guidance

When designing a space or wearables for humans, you’ll need precise measurements of our size. How high to put a door knob, the circumference of our necks, how far we can reach overhead? There’s no such thing as an average person, so you’ll also need to know what the variances are, too. There’s a number of good sources for this data, but the most complete set, with the greatest clarity, and most affordable price is Human Dimensions. This data set was distilled from ergonomic research started by NASA for designing space capsules and broadened over the years to include the ergonomics of wheelchairs and crutches, bathtubs, workplaces and public spaces among many other everyday situations. I prefer its very graphic presentation. Good for architects, costume designers, gadget makers, interface designers, and interior decorators.

-- KK 01/25/13


Figure 1-4. The human body and the Golden Section






Adapted from Human Factors Engineering, U.S. Air Force Systems Command Handbook, DH1-3, P. DN2B11, 19.


Hello friend! If this is your first visit to Cool Tools you may not realize how much great stuff is here.

• In addition to this item, there are over 3,700 other cool tools reviewed and recommended here. We cover an insane range of items from hand tools, how-to-how books, educational toys, maps, apps, and all kinds of other unexpected goodies. Every weekday (for the past 14 years!) we publish an unexpected cool tool review. Take a look at the Editor's picks as a start.

• Every week we email out 6 brief recommendations of cool stuff. Now up to 10,000 subscribers, Recomendo is one of the most popular things the Cool Tools team produces. People really enjoy the brevity and usefulness of these little notes. Signup or inspect previous issues here.

• We produce a weekly 20-minute podcast where a legendary maker shares his or her favorite 4 tools.

• We co-host a weekly 30-minute video round up of the best maker-oriented material on the web.

No matter what kinds of things you make or make happen, we bet you'll find some help here.

— editors)

© 2022