Vehicle Seat Comfort and Design

IDE Design Master Class for Professionals

Seat design for a positive experience

Almost everyone on the planet uses a vehicle seat (in a car, train, bus, airplane). The latest knowledge on the ideal comfortable seat design is often hard to get. This course shares the latest knowledge illustrated by examples.


In this Master Class, professional designers, engineers and architects will be brought up to date on: (1) the latest knowledge on comfort seat experience, (2) basic seat comfort requirements, (3) translating knowledge on comfort into seat features, (4) measuring comfort and discomfort, (5) stimulating movement in seats, and (6) seats for autonomous driving.
You will learn and experience how comfort and light weight can be achieved by changing the physical environment and products. The theory is supported by applied case examples, for example the effects of BMW car-interiors on end users. You can create your own programme from a number of small group workshops:

  • using pressure mats and interpreting the results
  • performing 3d-scanning of human bodies
  • constructing your own questionnaires from existing comfort/discomfort questionnaires
  • recording human sensitivity and translate it into seat requirement
  • the most recent anthropometric data and stimulating variation of posture in the seat

Learning Objectives

After participating in this Master Class, you will:

  • understand the principles of experiencing comfort and discomfort;
  • understand the effects on the human of seat characteristics;
  • apply the knowledge to designing seats for future autonomous driving electric vehicles;
  • be able to execute the principles in seat design;
  • be able to perform measurements to increase seat comfort.


  • Comfort and discomfort;
  • Vehicle seat comfort and design;
  • Applying theory to seat design.



9:30 Introduction to each other
10:00 Crawl into the passengers' experience
10:15 Relationship between the activity performed and vehicle seat design
Watch the pictures
10:30 In groups of 3
Consequences for seat design of activities
11:15 Break
11:30 human sensors
11:45 Discussion on consequences
12:00 Start with making your own seat
12:30 Lunch
at the Porceleyne Fles
13:30 The workshops
group is split in two: (1) Defining the back contour by the kyphometer, (2) Scanning the back contour in different backrest angles
14:30 Visit to the Boeing 737 and experience 28", 30" and 32" pitch
15:00 Continuation making the seat and work on assignments
16:00 Presenting and discussion on the made seats
17:00 End of the first day
9:30 Performing research yourself: (1) Scanning the back contour in different backrest angles, (2) Defining the back contour by the Kypthometer
10:15 The importance of variation of posture
10:45 Continuation and Practical Assignment
ideas for movement in vehicle
12:00 Plenary discussion
ideas for movement in vehicle
12:30 Lunch
At the faculty of IDE
13:45 Labtour

Context, methods and questionnaires to study comfort

Practical assignment for comfort measurement
three cases

15:00 Presentation of the outcomes to each other
15:30 Examination and evaluation
16:00 Drinks and End of day 2

Practical Information

Books and Materials
All participants will receive a copy of the book ‘Vehicle Seat Comfort and Design’. All materials provided are included in the course fee.