Human Scale
According to Chapter 3 in the textbook,
human scale is defined as objects or
places designed to relate to the size
and proportions of the human body.
A branch of Engineering that has developed because of
the study of human scale is Ergonomics.
Ergonomics is the applied science that coordinates
the design of devices, systems, and environments
with our physiological and psychological
capabilities and requirements.
Ergonomics can be simply defined as
Anthropometry can be broken down into two roots
 anthropo – Greek meaning “human”
 metry – Greek meaning “the process of measuring”
Anthropometry literally means “the process of
measuring humans.”
The formal definition is the measurement of the size
and proportions of the human body.
Anthropometry is based on functional ratios and
average human dimensions.
Functional ratios affect
•Things we handle
•Height and distance of
things we reach
•Dimensions of
furnishings we use for
sitting, working, eating,
and sleeping
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret
(October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965),
also known as Le Corbusier, is one
of many architects to study human
scale. Le Corbusier is famous
creating the proportional system
know as Modulor.
Le Corbusier began studying human scale around 1942.
His first published study, entitled The Modulor: A
Harmonious Measure to the Human Scale Universally
Applicable to Architecture and Mechanics, was in 1948.
Modulor is based on two things:
Proportions of the human body & Mathematics
In mathematics, the numbers below represent a series.
0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13, ?
The next term should be 21 because the pattern is to add
the previous two numbers to get the next term. 8+13=21
Section of Unité d'Habitation
View of Unité d'Habitation
Leonardo Da Vinci studied
human scale during the
Renaissance with his
painting The Vitruvian
His studies were based on
the findings of the Roman
author, architect, and
engineer Vitruvius
(80-70 BC to 15 AD).
Vituvius stated the span of
a humans arms is equal to
his or her height.
Anthropometry is problematic because of
variations from the normal.
Variations between
Variations between racial groups
Anthropometry is problematic because of variations
from the normal.
Variations in gender
Variations in ages
Ching, Francis D. K. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. 3rd
ed. Hoboken: John Wiley, 2007.