Design Challenge

Q4 2017



Humans have for thousands of years been able to live in extreme environments using natural materials found in their surrounding environments. From animal skin and fat to straw hats, humans are never short of innovative solutions to adapt to their climate. Fast forwarding to modern times, no frontier has pushed material science further than space itself. Space suits in particular allow humans to be comfortable in extreme heat, cold, and pressures among other parameters. The extremes of space pushed our capabilities to the limits and thus forced innovation faster than it had ever been advanced. What we ask is, why only in space?

Comfortable and efficient

In the last 100 years we have been perfecting the art of having interior spaces conform to our biological needs. Space conditioning has become commonplace in all 1st world countries and semi-commonplace in many developing countries. This being the heating, cooling, humidifying and dehumidifying of spaces for maximum comfort while wearing casual clothing. While this trend will most certainly continue to be adopted, we must realize that conditioning the entirety of the air in spaces where humans occupy is inefficient at best. How about we keep ourselves comfortable and not heat or cool the top right corner of the building, where no human will ever be. While we must keep in mind humidity issues indoors, as well as any freezing concerns, we really only need our biological selfs to be comfortable. For each degree we don’t have to heat or cool a facility, we can quantify savings and CO2 emission reduction. This could have a massive positive impact on our CO2 reduction goals and ultimately is a more intelligent way of controlling our environment.


We know this is possible to do, it falls within the laws of physics. The real question is, can we accomplish this and make it beautiful? Not just beautiful to one audience, but to the masses. Not just beautiful to the masses, but awe inspiring for future generations! A turning point from what we wore then to what we wear now.

The Challenge

Design a “suit”, for lack of a better word, that can meet phase I parameters, listed below. Phase I scoring criteria is also outlined below. In addition to phase I items, we have listed items that will appear in future phases to help shape what this concept could be:

Air quality

Augmented reality



Phase I Parameters

Baseline human comfort parameters:


Baseline needs:

Aesthetically pleasing


Keep in mind:

Metabolic rates for men/women/children

Exterior temperatures:

Fluctuations between 60 F and 80 F

Humidity between 20% and 90%

Dry conditions only



Aethetics: 40%

Technical Requirements 40%

Interdisciplinarity of team 10%

Fit for future phases 10%


Submit one design – sketches with specs

Identify the materials you will use

And answer the questions below

Identify your team members and your diverse backgrounds

Questions for each team to answer:

Does your solution utilize passive or active cooling techniques? Or Both? Please explain.

Does your solution utilize passive or active heating techniques? Or Both? Please explain.

How does your solution take into account for metabolic rates of men/women and children?

Can you prove your solution can keep humans comfortable given the exterior temperature parameters?

Describe your process for your aesthetic decisions, including any inspiration sources

Good Luck!

Thank you for accepting the challenge. We look forward to reviewing your submission