Design intervention at major technological installations

Christopher Hendrickse (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)
Thomas Wolfgang Thurner (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Publication date: 1 April 2019



This paper aims to report on a design intervention at the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) control room which resulted from a user-centred design approach intended to raise its usability.


Adapting a user-centred design approach, the observations and interviews revealed a number of weaknesses of the current control room design.


While most suggestions would require larger restructuring, the designers intervened with simple solutions resulting in the improved handling of many pieces of hardware. This study suggests that such design interventions hold the possibility to majorly improve the efficiency of the control room and thereby raise the potential outcome of such highly capital intense installations.


Thereby, this paper has immediate relevance to the astronomical field and the corresponding advancements in electronics, engineering and technology development.



Hendrickse, C. and Thurner, T. (2019), "Design intervention at major technological installations", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 402-413.

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