The Role of Design in Use in Agriculture: The Case of Brazilian Crops

  • Lidiane Regina Narimoto
  • Simone Emmanuelle Alves Costa Belussi
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Harvesting is one of the most critical phases in any crop once it determines the quality of raw material obtained and future production for the next seasons. Sugarcane crops are more uniform allowing the complete mechanization of harvesting. Orange crops, on the other hand, present variability and require special handling to preserve quality so the harvesting process remains manual preponderantly. The aim of this research was to explore how the distinct characteristics of sugarcane and orange crops influence the construction of instruments, promoting a discussion about design in use in Brazilian fields and its role to improve productivity and safety. Multiple case study was conducted at 9 sites: 3 sites of sugarcane crops and 6 sites of orange crops. Task analysis, observations, interviews, questionnaires and video footage were undertaken at each site. The modifications made by the harvesting teams in all studied sites aimed the appropriateness of objects to local conditions and real needs, transforming them in instruments, improving reliability, safety, health and productivity. In agriculture, a sector where working conditions still need to be significantly improved especially in developing countries, it is argued that design in use appears as a solution for the problems faced by workers in the field, as an essential mean to maintain health and productivity at work.


Harvesting Sugarcane Orange Inventiveness 


  1. 1.
    OECD - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2015) OECD-FAO agricultural outlook 2015. OECD Publishing, Paris.
  2. 2.
    Nogueira ACL (2001) Mecanização na agricultura brasileira: uma visão prospectiva. Caderno de Pesquisas em Administração 8(4):77–87Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    IBGE – Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (2017) Levantamento Sistemático da Produção Agrícola.
  4. 4.
    IEA – Instituto de Economia Agrícola (2017) Mecanização da colheita de cana-de-açúcar atinge 90% na safra 2016/2017.
  5. 5.
    Roka F, Longworth S (2001) Labor requirements in Florida Citrus. University of Florida, GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Roka FM, House LA, Mosley KR (2014) Mechanically harvesting sweet orange trees in Florida: addressing grower concerns about production and long-term tree health. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cortez LAB, Braunbeck OA, Castro LRDE, Abraão RF, Cardoso JL (2007) Sistemas de Colheita para Frutas e Hortaliças: oportunidades para sistemas semimecanizados. Publicado na Revista Frutas & Legumes 22:26–29Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mello RC, Correa IM, Campos RA, Costa CD (2016) Estudo de alternativas para melhoria da segurança na colheita de laranja. Braz J Appl Technol Agric Sci, Guarapuava, Paraná 9(2):107–114Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rabardel P, Béguin P (2005) Instrument mediated activity: from subject development to anthropocentric design. Theor Issues Ergon Sci 6(5):429–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Benoit-Gonin LJ (2011) Contribuições da abordagem instrumental para o estudo da atividade de operação em salas de controle – da interface ao coletivo. PhD thesis (Production Engineering), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Folcher V (2003) Appropriating artifacts as instruments: When design-for-use meets design-in-use. Interact Comput 15:647–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Béguin P (2003) Design as a mutual learning process between users and designers. Interact Comput 15:709–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tereso MJA, Abrahão RF, Gemma SFB, Montedo UB, Menegon NL, Guarneti JE, Ribeiro IAV (2012) Work and technological innovation in organic agriculture. Work 41:975–4978Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fathallah F (2010) Musculoskeletal disorders in labor-intensive agriculture. Appl Ergon 41:738–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Costa SEA (2017) Contribuição da Ergonomia da Atividade no Uso de Artefatos na Colheita Manual de Laranja. PhD thesis (Production Engineering), Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Narimoto LR (2015) A gênese das gêneses instrumentais: o projeto no uso de máquinas colhedoras de cana-de-açúcar no Brasil e na Austrália. PhD thesis (Production Engineering), Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gil AC (1999) Métodos e técnicas de pesquisa social. Atlas, São PauloGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Martins RA (2010) Abordagem qualitativa e quantitativa. In: Miguel PAC (coord) Metodologia de pesquisa em engenharia de produção e gestão de operações. Elsevier, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wisner A (1994) A inteligência no trabalho: textos selecionados de ergonomia. Fundacentro, São PauloGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Folcher V, Rabardel P (2007) Homens, artefatos, atividades: perspectiva instrumental. In: Falzon P (ed) Ergonomia. Editora Blucher, São PauloGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Narimoto LR, Camarotto JA, da Costa Alves FJ (2015) The operation of mechanical sugarcane harvesters and the competence of operators: an ergonomic approach. Afr J Agric Res 10(15):1832–1839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Abrahão RF, Tereso MJA, Gemma SFB (2015) A análise Ergonômica do Trabalho (AET) aplicada ao trabalho na agricultura: experiências e reflexões. Revista Brasileira de Saúde Ocupacional 40(131):88–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Narasimhan GR, Peng Y, Crowe TG, Hagel L, Dosman J, Pickett W (2010) Operational safety practices as determinants of machiney-related injury on Saskatchewan farms. Accid Anal Prev 42(4):1226–1231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Béguin P (2007) Taking activity into account during the design process. @ctivités 4(2):115–121Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Béguin P (2016) A concepção dos instrumentos como processo dialógico de aprendizagens mútuas. In: Falzon P (ed) Ergonomia construtiva. Blucher, São Paulo, pp 205–222Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Production Engineering DepartmentFederal University of São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil

Personalised recommendations