Insights


International Control Room Design Conference – our thoughts…

International Control Room Design Conference – our thoughts…

Nearly 100 delegates and half-a-dozen exhibitors represented the leading practitioneers in control room design at the recent ICOCO conference held in Paris.  And we were there in force with four presentations and an exhibition.  If you want to see more on what we talked about, visit our website at http://www.ccd-design.co.uk/p/Conference-Presentations/ What did we learn from the event?   Firstly that there remains a strong commitment...

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Reflections on Norman Foster’s RIBA Annual Discourse

Reflections on Norman Foster’s RIBA Annual Discourse

During this stimulating and thought provoking talk, Lord Foster raised some very interesting points which, sat in the audience as a Human Factors professional, got me thinking…. A number of residental buildings were built in India (not by Foster) to re-house occupants of a slum. However, years later they still sat empty because dispite being more modern and providing sanitation, they did not provide the...

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Deralict buildings and the role of design in community identity

Deralict buildings and the role of design in community identity

Hastings Pier has recently burnt down by arsonists. Its loss raises a question of cultural identity and building function. The pier has been out of use since 1996 and become increasingly derelict. Is Hastings still Hastings if it doesn’t have a pier? What about civic pride/sense of identity? Is a derelict building like graffiti – shows no-one cares, break down of society…attracts more crime. The...

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Personal security in the community

Personal security in the community

In a piece in World Architecture News recently, we discussed the nature of the surveillance society in relation to the future of control rooms.  One issue we highlighted was how the presence of things like CCTV cameras actually intimidates people and produces this atmosphere of fear.  What is required is to breakdown some of these barriers and integrate the means of protection into the community. ...

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Control room safety in pipeline operations

From the US, came this interesting piece on utility / pipeline control room operations and human error.    It features some interesting views on operator fatigue and training possibly contributing to failures to spot abnormal operating conditions and subsequent incidents.   http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_16230206?source=rss&nclick_check=1 It seems surprising that the understanding of the contribution of the use of the SCADA systems was not captured in accident investigation data...

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Making air travel even more unpleasant?

Making air travel even more unpleasant?

Over recent years, air travel has become a less and less enjoyable passenger experience.  Notably the increase in security at airports has meant queues and hassle; budget airlines have given us low cost but the pay off is a scramble to get a seat, paying for loads of extras, etc. Now it seems that the industry is making moves to make it even less comfortable...

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Future screen technology??

We came across this which presents some interesting ideas about the future of screen techology and how that will impact on interfaces and how information is accessed and distributed.  We might be able to do without the news whilst brushing our teeth first thing in the morning though!



Preventing human error even in TV control rooms

There have been lots of examples recently of the impact of human error in control rooms especially in the US.   However, there are implications even in non-safety critical control rooms such as in TV broadcasting.  It seems sometime ago now that ITV bungled the World Cup football going off to an ad break whilst England were scoring one of their few goals in the...

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Can we do without traffic signals?

On the face of it the idea of removing traffic lights from junctions seems crazy.  Surely chaos would result with regular accidents. This experiment near Bristol suggests that maybe it can work – since the trial started they’ve seen a reduction in congestion despite an increase in traffic…with almost no accidents. There is of course an interesting issue of driver education & training – for...

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Runaway train underlines importance of operator-centered design

Runaway train underlines importance of operator-centered design

The recent incident with the run-away maintenance train on London Underground underlines the importance of designing control rooms around the needs of the operators.  The information that has surfaced (www.railnews.co.uk/news/metro/2010/08/19-leaked-video-shows-49-second.html) show how the operators were able to avoid the incident becoming a disaster by clearing the path ahead of the runaway.  This required them to exercise all of their skill and training. But it also...

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