Director of Innovation Signo Uddenberg was a poster presenter at this year’s Academy of Neurosciences for Architecture Conference at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. He presented on MKThink’s “thermal experience model”—an approach to thermal comfort that advocates for thermal variation over static thermal conditioning.
The hypothesis evolved from MKThink’s ongoing work with the Hawai’i Department of Education (HIDOE) and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) on the Heat Abatement Program—an initiative to address thermal conditions in the district’s 255 schools with research-driven, sustainable solutions that present viable alternatives to air conditioning. As principal investigator, MKThink applied a systems thinking approach that defined a multitude of factors that contribute to thermal comfort in the classroom—building quality, weather, the clothing students wear, and their physiological state of being.
Informed by this systems model, the project team is developing a design scheme to demonstrate that thermal sequencing and variation can address thermal discomfort and promote thermal comfort and deliver a dynamic thermal experience for the whole self—physical, physiological and psychological. The emerging scheme integrates neuroscience architecture (buildings and systems), operations management (protocols and schedules), and product design (tools and equipment).