Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems Studios

One of the most fundamental challenges in systems design is integrating the human as a part of the overarching system.

Our aim, as part of Department of Design, IIT Kanpur, is to incorporate the human as a system component without making it mechanistic in nature. Reciprocally, the founding principle of this studio is to incorporate human factors in complex sociotechnical systems from a holistic viewpoint sustaining the lived experience of the human as well as the designed dimension of the system.

We are constantly on the lookout for quality PhD students and research staff in the following areas. We also encourage industrial projects.

1) HMI Design - open to students from Design (IxD/UI/UX etc.), Human Factors (Cognitive) and Engineering (Industrial automation/SCADA etc.)

2) Systems Design/Strategic Design/ Design Policy in various sectors - open to students from Design (any field), Human Factors (organizational human factors) and Engineering (Technology Management/ Management Engineering etc.)

3) Speculative Design/Design Futures - open to students from Design

In general, topics of research include Human Machine Interaction/Human Automation Interaction; Human Factors; Human Systems Integration, and ; Human Centered Design in Complex systems.

In case of further clarification, please contact Vivek!


  • Theme 1
    Human Factors and Human Machine Interaction
  • - Human Machine Interaction and Operator Experience (OX)
    - Interaction Design and Cognition (Embodied, Embedded, Extended and Enactive)
    - Human Factors (Cognitive / Organizational)
    - Prospective Ergonomics (Strategic Design + Design Futures + Ergonomics)

  • Theme 2
    Sociotechnical Systems
  • - Human Systems Integration
    - Systems Design: Safety-Critical Systems, Mission-Critical Systems
    - Sociotechnical Risk, Resilience and Accident Analysis

  • Theme 3
    History and Philosophy of Design and Engineering

  • Application Areas
    • - Manufacturing
    • - Maintenance
    • - Defence
    • - Cyberphysical systems
    • - Internet-of-things
    • - Digitalization
    • - Next-generation work sectors


  • Course 1: Swayam
    Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) is central to supporting the design, evaluation, operation and maintenance of human-centric systems in a variety of disciplines ranging from and not limited to design, engineering and management. As a realm of knowledge, HFE transcends disciplinary boundaries. However, in its current practice in India, HFE has remained highly fractured in academic settings.

    HFE’s multifaceted nature is displayed in myriad instances in various silos of individual disciplines of design, engineering, psychology and physiology.The aim of this free course is to provide such a comprehensive transdisciplinary and holistic understanding and basic sensitivity towards HFE. This course will have a practical and positive effect on the manner in which HFE is engaged by professional sectors in India.

    Open Access (Registration required)  Go to courseYoutube short trailer (0:55 secs)

  • Course 2: D'Source
    Human Machine Interaction Design
  • The aim of this course is to present an advanced primer for design for operator experience in complex technological systems. In this tutorial, design of interfaces in complex technological systems will be outlined briefly deriving from a few major texts and papers in this area that have been listed in the bibliography for further reading. Thus, this advanced primer serves as an invitation to explore the field of interaction design for complex systems.

    Open Access  Go to course

  • Course 3: D'Source
    Visual Perception for Communication Designers
  • This course is developed for communication design practitioners – graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and many others who consider themselves a part of this profession. The key idea of this course is to help communication designers understand the foundation of perceptual science and how it is utilized in practice. It consists of a set of explorations done by students of my course related to visual perception. This course is meant to invite students and practitioners to understand the psychological principles behind their work. This scientific understanding will help them to grow reflexively as practitioners.

    Open Access  Go to course


Papers (select)

Kant, V. & Sudakaran, J. S. (2021). Extending the Ecological Interface Design process—Integrated EID. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries. 10.1002/hfm.20933

Kant, V. & Kerr, E. (2019). Taking Stock of Engineering Epistemology: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Philosophy & Technology. 32. 10.1007/s13347-018-0331-5

Kant, V. (2018). The sociotechnical constitution of cognitive work analysis: roles, affordances and malfunctions. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 19(2), 195–212.

Kant, V. (2017). Muddling between science and engineering: an epistemic strategy for developing human factors and ergonomics as a hybrid discipline. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 3(2), 1–30.

Kyriakidis, M., Kant, V., Amir, S., & Dang, V. N. (2017). Understanding human performance in sociotechnical systems – Steps towards a generic framework. Safety Science.

Amir, S., & Kant, V. (2017). Sociotechnical Resilience: A Preliminary Concept. Risk Analysis, 38(1), 8–16.

Kant, V. (2016). Cyber-physical systems as sociotechnical systems: a view towards human–technology interaction. Cyber-Physical Systems, 2(1-4), 75–109.

View all (Google Scholar)


Vivek Kant Ph.D.

Associate professor
Department of Design
IIT Kanpur

Current members

  • Dipil Dileep, Aparna Singh, Abhinaya Paranikumar (MDes, 2023-2025)

Past members (IDC, IIT Bombay)

  • Jonathan Mathew, MDes (IxD) P2 project 2018
  • Ridhima Tapia, MDes (IxD) DRS project 2019
  • Thuli Chishi, MDes (IxD) TA, 2018-2019
  • Vyom Kushwaha, BDes DRS project 2019; BDes Final Yr. Project 2019 (Co-Guide: Prof. R.Venkatesh)
  • Aishwary Khobragade, BDes System Design Project 2018; BDes DRS project 2019
  • Avyay R Kashyap, BDes System Design Project 2018; MDes TA, 2019-2020
  • Naicy Rajput, MDes Intern; NIFT Kannur, Jan-Mar, 2020
  • Saurabh Singh (Aero), Ajay Dangi (Aero), Sameer Fulzole (Aero), Shubhanshu Gupta (Aero), Tarun Vinjamuru (Elec); DE 403 Studio Project Jan-May 2020
  • Jayasurya SS, DRS + BDes Final Year Project 2020
  • Varun Vikash K, DRS + BDes Final Year Project 2020
  • Arun Babu K, MDes (MVD) Final Year Project 2020 (Co-Guide: Prof. Nishant Sharma)
  • Devendra Solanki (Chem), Saksham Garg (Mech), Saurabh Verma (Mech), Dhruvkant Sakhyawar (Met), Neeharika Swamy (Chem); DE 403/405 project
  • Gaurav Deolekar, Siddharth Sangwan, MDes P1 project, MVD (Co-guide: Prof. Sugandh Malhotra)
  • Yagya Mundra (Comp Sc), Shiven Raut (Env Sc. & Eng.), Shubojit Das (Metl. & Mat.Sc.), Shreya Kasliwal(Metl. & Mat.Sc.), Yagneswar Boddapati (Comp Sc.), Abhijeet Pandit (Chem), Riddhi Khetan (Chem), Ravi Jangir (Chem), Mohit Meena (Civil), Rahul Kumar Meena (Civil); DE 403 Studio Project Jan-May 2021
  • Aman Nim, MDes P2 project, MVD (Co-guide: Prof. Sugandh Malhotra)
  • Noopur Kashyap, DRS + MDes P2 project 2020
  • Sreekanth Raj, DRS + MDes P2 project 2020
  • Rishi Tak, DRS + MDes P2 project 2020
  • Ameer Hamza, BDes Final Year P2 Project 2021
  • Pranav Pagar, DRS + BDes Final Year P3 Project 2021
  • Rounak Sengupta, TA, 2020 - 2021, DRS Project 2021
  • Aditya Makkar, BDes P2 (Co-guide: Prof. Sugandh Malhotra), 2021 + BDes P3, 2022
  • Yagya Mundra (Comp Sc), Shiven Raut (Env Sc. & Eng.), Gauri Baheti (Metl. & Mat.Sc.), Vaishnavi Alkondawar (Chem.), Unnatee Pawar (Chem.), Hardh Rathod (Metl. and Mat.Sc.), Ridhi Khetan (Chem.), DE 403/405 Studio Project Aug-Dec 2021
  • Saikat Mondal, TA, 2020-2022
  • John Paul Kujur, TA, 2020-2022
  • Jaanhavi S, TA, 2021-2022
  • Anubhav Nagpal, TA, 2021-2022
  • Ishaan Najeeb, BDes P3, 2022
  • Amit Patjoshi, DRS, 2022
  • Shraddha Prabhu, DRS, 2022
  • Darshan Chavan, MDes P2 project, MVD, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Sugandh Malhotra) + MDes P3 project, MVD, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Nishant Sharma)
  • Alex Jose, MDes P2 project, MVD, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Sugandh Malhotra)
  • Naagaswin A, MDes P3 project, MVD, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Nishant Sharma)
  • Stuti Swamiwal, TA, 2021-2022
  • Nidhin Joseph, TA, 2021-2022
  • Angshuman Das, MDes P2 project, MVD, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Nishant Sharma)
  • Manisha Sharma, MDes P2 project, MVD, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Nishant Sharma)
  • Lakshya Ranwan, BDes P2, 2022
  • Abisek A, BDes P2, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Prasad Bokil)
  • Sruthi Sridhar, RA
  • Atul Tripathi, BDes P3, 2023
  • Tekhengutso Therieh, MDes DES, MVD, 2022 (Co-guide: Prof. Sugandh Malhotra)
  • Angshuman Das, MDes P3, DES project, MVD, 2023 (Co-guide: Prof. Sugandh Malhotra)