Design for manufacturing: Rehumanising digital manufacturing

Mersha Aftab* (Corresponding / Lead Author), Mey Yee Goh, Rebecca Grant, Iryna Yeveseva

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


    What role is design research playing in the re-humanisation of digital manufacturing? This theme track aims to bring transdisciplinary researchers together, looking at how design explores, supports, and leads digital transformation within the manufacturing sectors worldwide to be more people-centred. Design research significantly contributes to digital transformation within the private and public sectors. Regarding manufacturing, existing literature provides measurable readiness levels, such as the technology readiness index (TRI) (Parasuraman, 2000; Parasuraman & Colby, 2015; Tsikriktsis, 2004) or the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). However, these models do not consider people and their perceived efficacy for new technologies. Design research and human-centred design have historically made systems, processes, and transformations more people-centred. Recent provocations have seen the proposal to improve readiness to change, looking at people-led readiness levels through empathy. Other significant contributions appropriate for this are the design’s role in improving the manufacturing process's efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. Also, material culture studies and data visualisation make manufacturing more sustainable. The conceptualisation of the future digital manufacturing ecosystem through design. And finally, what is the role of design in making digital manufacturing more open, diverse, and inclusive for the oncoming workforce? There is a need to showcase design’s contribution within this unchartered space. Where have design research or approaches like HCD, empathy, Design Thinking, and culture probes been applied to re-humanise a largely technology-heavy digital manufacturing industry?
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number
    Pages (from-to)1
    Number of pages4
    JournalDesign Research Society
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 15 Jun 2024
    EventDesign Research Society Conference 2024 - Boston, MA, Boston
    Duration: 24 Jun 202429 Jun 2024


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