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The role and potential contribution of industrial design in developing agricultural machinery for Malaysia

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posted on 04.11.2010, 14:43 by Mohd Nasir Hussain
The aim of this research is to determine whether Industrial Design has an important role to play in the design and development of agricultural equipment, particularly in Malaysia. It is perhaps natural to think of agricultural machinery and equipment as being functional devices with issues such as task performance, robustness and reliability in all weathers being paramount. So is there really a role for the industrial designer? It is argued here that effective design of agricultural products cannot be achieved by considering only the functional requirements and technological aspects, since there are also many human issues to be taken into account. Effectiveness of new product development depends on interdisciplinary team working. This research has been conducted utilising qualitative and quantitative survey methods consisting of interviews and postal questionnaires. The findings show the need for a broad approach to design and confirm that industrial design has an important contribution to make in Malaysian agricultural equipment industries. Introducing two design projects in this research has strengthened the research methodology. The purpose of these design projects is to implement the knowledge and skills of the researcher into agricultural machinery design activities as a means of gaining insight into the problems and processes fundamental to agricultural design. Design guidelines formulated from the research findings will provide Malaysian industrial designers with an approach for effective participation within agricultural design activities. These will help design teams to identify and consider the broad range of issues inherent in agricultural design projects, and hence to work more effectively. Designing agricultural machinery requires an understanding not only of the tasks, crops and the working environment but also of the people who will buy and use the products. Malaysian agricultural machinery design activities have been left, behind compared to some other countries. A push in this area could create major benefits because agricultural machinery design can provide significant advantages to the farmers and hence to the country.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Mohd Nasir Hussain

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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