Researcher’s File #1: Satoshi Muraki x Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia
Researcher’s File seeks to share the findings of research conducted in the form of international joint research projects undertaken by the Faculty of Design at Kyushu University.
The first installment of researcher’s “Ergonomic design of furniture for elementary school children” that was undertaken by Professor Satoshi Muraki of the Faculty of Design in collaboration with Professor Cucuk Nur Rosyidi and Associate Professor Lulu Purwaningrum from Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) in Indonesia. UNS is a public university that was founded in Java, Indonesia, in 1976 where there is currently an enrollment of over 40,000 students. This university is included in the cluster 1 higher education institutions in Indonesia, according to the latest assessment of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia.
Outline of the findings of the joint research project
Desks and chairs used in the classrooms of elementary schools in Indonesia are heavy and are difficult for younger students to carry on their own. Because of this, classroom layouts cannot be easily modified, which compromises the ability of teachers to facilitate effective education. (For instance, group activities cannot be carried out when desks cannot be rearranged for students to face one another.) Many countries, including Indonesia, find it difficult to introduce the lightweight desks and chairs often used in Japan as a result of their circumstances. The aim of this international joint research project is to identify the requirements that make desks and chairs suitable for children and to propose designs that meet these requirements.
So far, various kinds of field research and experiments have been carried out among Japanese and Indonesian children to determine the maximum weight that children are able to carry safely as well as the differences in how children in different countries carry these objects. In addition, the parts of a chair that children tend to grasp when carrying it are closely analyzed, and the different patterns of transportation are categorized accordingly. Based on these findings, improvements to standard chairs found in Indonesia were proposed to make them easier to carry. The effectiveness of the proposed improvements was verified through measurements of the transportation duration and electromyography.
Besides the above joint research project, Professor Muraki has also visited Universitas Sebelas Maret three times to give invited lectures at an international conference and special lectures for enrolled students, as well as to conduct workshops. In November 2019, Associate Professor Purwaningrum visited Fukuoka and shared her insights into a newly launched joint research project on furniture for children with developmental disabilities after she participated in observation sessions at special needs schools and the Special Education Center in Fukuoka City.
Like Associate Professor Purwaningrum, there are many other instances of individuals who have returned to their home country and participated in collaborative projects after graduating from the Faculty of Design as international students. The Faculty of Design has continued to encourage researchers to build long-term relationships while serving as a source of intellectual stimulation for one another.
Purwaningrum L, Loh PY, Muraki S (2017) The Effectiveness of an Elementary School Chair Design to Ensure Ease of Mobility. International Journal of Technology 8(2): 238-249 [Web]
Purwaningrum L, Funatsu K, Rosyidi CN, Muraki S (2017) Considering Children’s Methods of Grasping and Carrying Elementary School Chairs for Easy Carrying, Lifting, and Turning. SAGE Open 7(1): 1-7 [Web]
Rosyidi CN, Hermayanti I, Laksono PW, Purwaningrum L, Susmartini S, Muraki S (2016) Desk and Chair Design of Elementary School using Kansei Engineering and Conjoint Analysis. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences 11(11):2514-2519
Rosyidi CN, Susmartini S, Pratama SA, Purwaningrum L, Muraki S (2015) Mismatch analysis of elementary school desk and chair using Monte Carlo simulation, Applied Mechanics and Materials. 815: 323-327, doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.815.323
Purwaningrum L, Funatsu K, Xiong J, Rosyidi CN, Muraki S (2015) Effect of furniture weight on carrying, lifting, and turning of chairs and desks among elementary school children. PLoS One. 2015; 10(6): e0128843. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128843[Web]
Professor/Ph.D. (Academic), Department of Human Science, Faulty of Design, Kyushu University
Specialty: Ergonomics (Certified Ergonomics Specialist)
Research Theme: Ergonomics Research for Products and Living Environments Based on the Characteristics of Human Body Motion
Associate Professor/Head of Department. Graduate school of Art and Design Department, Faculty of Art and Design, Universitas Sebelas Maret
Human Science International Course, Graduate School of Design, Kyushu University (Ph.D.(Design)
Research Theme: Ergonomics research for product and living environment design