Digital controls for
helping to make spaces
Why do thermostatic controls vary by location?
What does this say about mental models of
comfort and climate control, if anything? The
vehicle control (top) is needlessly decorative,
but very “cute.” The home control (bottom) is
ugly and the need for the detailed instructions
indicates less than thoughtful usability design.
• Figure 4. The familiar thermostat problem recast as a
(part of a) model solution for a design research challenge more broadly construed as comfortable spaces
and comfort-control systems.
• Figure 5. The familiar thermostat problem recast as a
model solution for a design concept challenge more
broadly construed as comfortable spaces and comfort-control systems.
May + June 2010
• Instead of asking students to undertake either
analytic or synthesis tasks, ask them to do both,
and to ensure that their analysis leads to synthe-
sis and that their synthesis follows from analysis.
• Instead of asking students to focus solely on
discipline-specific knowledge, ask them to focus
equally on transdisciplinary, values-centered goals.
• Instead of setting rigor as a goal for some stu-
dents or yielding to fear of rigor for some others,
ask all students to view rigor as a tool in the con-
struction of evidence for their ideas rather than a
targeted end in and of itself.