"We don't want you to become a victim of your own device," itHomework for some students at Kent University School of Architecture in southeast England became more than a bit uncomfortable recently. Their assignment was supposedly an attempt to sensitize them to the principals of ergonomics, the science of reducing fatigue and discomfort.
A copy of the assignment - entitled "Torture, was carried on the Website for The Architect's Journal. It showed a diagram of a Gestapo electric torture and invited the students to "look on the dark side of ergonomics." It went on to describe how the proposals have to be realizable in 2008 and not be something based in Sci-Fi imagination. They must also be built for the purpose, robust, well thought out and effective.
It added that they should try and use recycled materials and avoid using electicity, lest the builder face the risk of becoming a vicitm of their own creation. The assignment was written by Kent University tutor Mike Richards and only one former president, Paul Hyatt had commented on it so far. He stated that he was appalled by the topic that was assigned.
I am still trying to understand how creating a torture device, so long after the Medevial practitioners had invented some of the most creative and effective devices, teaches someone how to avoid discomfort. My submission might be a simple one........ the IRS tax forms......... pure torture to understand.