FORUM SUSTAInABLY OURS
• Figure 3. Sketch (semantic differential) for the model design
concept project of Figure 2.
environment does not need to use as much energy
to maintain a temperature, and its climate-con-
trol system can respond accordingly. There are
of course details to work out about how fast an
environment needs to react to the entrance of a
person and to what extent an environment needs
to keep a certain temperature when empty in
order to respond quickly. These details need to be
worked out as a matter of energy use versus con-
venience and perceived viability of the system.
rect mental models and thermostat design per
se, but rather as a design research project about
what makes a space comfortable paired with a
design concept project about how to use digital
technologies as a material of creating comfort-
able spaces. My model solution describes a pas-
sive climate control green home as an example
of comfort achieved with minimal energy, a
Pullman-train dining car as an example of old-
world notions of opulence and comfort, and
thermostatic climate-control devices in a car
and a home that are clearly hopelessly complex
and unusable (Figure 4). My model solution for
the design concept project describes a wearable
encoding of temperature preference and ambient
room sensors that enable temperature prefer-
ences to follow people rather than be assigned to
individual locations (Figure 5).
goals of dcbl
The goals of DCBL are to transform learning from
certain common traditional ideas to certain ideas
inspired by the desire to construct a confluence of
studio-style learning with rigor and scale. These
goals follow from intuitions about how to use the
combination of collaboration, competition, chal-
lenge, and studio learning to achieve a sustainable
• Instead of asking students to do their own
work, ask them to work with others.
• Instead of asking students to put things in
their own words, ask them to quote and not para-
• Instead of telling students that original ideas
are good, ask them to attribute others generously.
concept: E-ink Fabric wearable Personal
thermostat and ambient sensors
The idea of this concept is that a digital thermo-
stat control is woven into the fabric of clothing
or worn like a bracelet or as part of a watch. The
control travels with the wearer and electronically
signals (many tiny transmitter/receiver technolo-
gies are available) desired temperature settings
to the ambient sensors in whichever environment
the wearer occupies at the moment. The environ-
ment—home, office, car, train, plane, etc.—adjusts
to the needs of its occupants based on reading the
desired setting, averaging desired settings when
there is more than one person present, or tailor-
ing to specific individual settings where possible,
as in—for example—a car equipped with individ-
ual climate-control settings capabilities. When no
one is present in a particular environment, that
• Instead of asking students not to show their
work to anyone else, ask them to seek public cri-
tique, and to engage in peer learning.
• Instead of placing yourself—as the professor
or lecturer—at the front of the class, ask students
to “take over,” transferring focus from one stu-
dent to another frequently and methodically.
• Be prepared—as the professor or lecturer—to
publicly recognize the successful attributes of
one student’s work compared to others, as a form
• Instead of asking students to engage in prob-
lem solving, ask them to ensure that thoughtful
problem setting precedes problem solving.
• Instead of asking students to find correct
solutions, ask them to find better solutions.
• Instead of asking students to think in values-
neutral ways, ask them to orient toward values.