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Anthropometry deals with the measurements and proportions of the human body, and anthropometrics is the comparative study of these measurements. The use of these practices in architecture means that the designs must fit the human body, rather than the people fitting the building. Human dimensions inspire the dimensions of the building.
For every person to be as comfortable as possible in a building, the dimensions of the rooms have to fit the dimensions of the people inside them. That involves making sure that ceilings are high enough, doorways and hallways are wide enough and rooms are large enough to accommodate the people inside them. To do this, architects must take into account average heights and widths of the company's employees, then go an extra couple of inches up and out to make sure that everyone can walk through the building with ease.
Another method of using anthropometry in architectural design is using human sizes to estimate the approximate amount of space that is required for various furniture in the living spaces. For example, when designing bedroom spaces, you have to verify that there is enough room for a bed, a set of dressers and a nightstand to fit inside the room. To make sure that there is enough room in residential areas, you have to think about all of the necessary elements like seating, dressers, counters and sinks of residential housing.
Buildings and Variations
Along with accommodating room sizes and furniture space, you also have to plan for the purposes the building serves. If you are designing a hospital, you have to verify that there is enough space in the hallways for gurneys and people alongside it to walk quickly and comfortably. Also, if the building is a public area, ADA-compliant handicapped ramps and bathrooms must be included into the design. There should also be enough space for the elderly to be able to get around; elevators should also be in the design for both the elderly and the handicapped.
The difficulties of using anthropometry in architectural design are that you have to incorporate a lot of different elements. According to The Hindu, "The size of human body varies based on age, sex, race and even socio-economic factors. Any direct attempt to apply the standardised dimensions may not reflect the true need of the space requirements. At the same time, very minute details on human dimensions may be useful only for the likes of fashion designers, make-up artists, hairdressers and so on and not for architects and interior designers." Architects must think about human dimensions while an individual is in motion and participating in different activities.
Brooke Bowers has been a professional writer since 2006. She writes fiction novels as Bela Valentine. Her first novel, "The SoulKeeper," was published in 2009 and her work has appeared in "The American Poetry Society" and "The Pegasus Society of Poets" anthologies. Brooke is attending East Tennessee State University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English.