Prospective Ergonomics: the Foundations and Issues

By Éric Brangier, Jean-Marc Robert


From an analysis of ‘prospective’ (as a discipline) and the integration of its elements into ergonomics, the authors propose to recognize Prospective Ergonomics (PE) as a new modality of ergonomic intervention that allows one to work on the future. The goal is to bring ergonomics to focus on future human needs and usages and the creation of future artifacts, and to do it through human and organizational factors that are always at the core of its action. Thus, PE is a modality of ergonomic intervention which consists in anticipating future needs, usages and behaviors, or constructing future needs, in order to create products, processes and services that are well suited to them. The knowledge and methods of prospective, ergonomics and creativity are utilized to search and create. Thus a prospective intervention is proactive, speculative, and inventive. It is located upstream of design in projects and it provides ergonomists with the opportunity to work at the strategic level of enterprises. The authors discuss the issues and challenges of PE and describe the outline of eight articles included in these two special issues on PE.


  • prospective
  • ergonomics
  • creativity
  • innovation
  • inventiveness
  • future needs
  • new products and services
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