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This paper emphasizes the necessity of formally bringing qualitative and quantitative criteria of ergonomic design together, and provides a novel complementary design framework with this aim. Within this framework, different design criteria are viewed as optimization objectives, and design solutions are iteratively improved through the cooperative efforts of computer and user. The framework is rooted in multiobjective optimization, genetic algorithms, and interactive user evaluation. Three different algorithms based on the framework are developed, and tested with an ergonomic chair design problem. The parallel and multiobjective approaches show promising results in fitness convergence, design diversity, and user satisfaction metrics.