“[Henry] Dreyfuss‘s Honeywell Round, introduced in 1953 after ten years of development, remains the most widely used thermostat on the planet. A thermostat is pure interface: it is a switch for turning a system on and off, and it is a display that communicates the system’s current and future state. Users operate the Honeywell Round with a simple twist of the dial, and they can intuitively compare the set temperature and the room temperature. The Honeywell Round replaced clunky boxes that users often mounted crookedly on the wall. Dreyfuss reinvented the lowly thermostat—produced with little consideration for users—by subjecting it to his process of designing for people.”
—Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design at the Cooper Hewitt, in Beautiful Users: Designing for People (Princeton Architectural Press), a companion to the exhibition opening December 12 along with the new Cooper Hewitt.