Can You Design Happiness?

 

Not the most innovative or mind blowing solution I was hoping to see when I saw the title, nevertheless it is an attempt to bring happiness or transform a stage in our life into something more positive, and for that it is worth to show it.

Could there be a design solution to unhappiness? Silvia Neretti explores the relationship between psychology and design. She designed a pop-up therapy stand, which injects “happiness into everyday life”. It is accomplished “through the analysis and the modification of the interactions between people, situations, and communication in a specific unhappy context, by sabotaging the symbolic objects in it…”

Unhappiness, she argues, is the result of a specific context. She becomes unhappy when her father bogarts the couch, splaying across it and not engaging her in conversation. As a design intervention, she creates cardboard subdivisions for the sofa—much like these park benches designed to prevent homeless people from sleeping on them—and suddenly, the video shows her and her father chatting happily. In another case, she helps a woman, lonely and recently separated from her husband, think about her unhappiness spatially. Neretti maps the woman’s home, and using basic cardboard boxes, she covers the house in whimsical new creations—cardboard shelves, a cardboard desk to work at, cardboard decorations to replace tired paintings—all designed to get the client to think about her home in a new way, and eventually, move on. From fastcodesign