Category: Happiness

Shanghai for the love of Art, Teaching & Food

I am just back from Shanghai, where I had the pleasure and honor to teach Interior Design for 5 weeks at Donghua University representing Edinburgh University. The students have a lot to teach us all over here about passion, hard work and positivity.

It was 5 amazing weeks with my great colleagues and mon amoureux. In our free time we visited lots of galleries (list bellow of some of the best exhibitions I have seen), spend a day walking and riding in Hangzhou around the west Lake and we went for a week end in the mountains. We stayed in xia yan bei village (下岩贝村), hiked 19 peaks (穿岩十九峰), the Hanfei river ( 韩妃江)  and dao tuo xue (倒脱靴). And of course had some amazing food: hot pot, dumplings, wonton soups, noodles, Chinese crepes, vegan dishes…

I am starting to learn basic Chinese to prepare our next trip in March, looking forward to it.

  • chi K11 .com/.cn
    The work exhibited is digital / conceptual art. What we found most interesting for your practice is the building in itself.
  • MOCA Shanghai Apple+
    The exhibition highlights Japanese designer Ken Miki’s four decades of practice as well as his unique approach to design thinking and education, summarized in what he promotes as “Learning to Design, Designing to Learn”.
  • Rockbund Art MuseumHugo Boss Asia Art 2017
    High-profile award that honors emerging contemporary artists in the early stages of their artistic creation and exhibition practices.
  • Long Museum West Bund Antony Gormley
    The first major presentation of Antony Gormley’s work in China. At its core is Critical Mass II (1995) an installation of 60 life-size cast iron body forms.
  • Power station of Art Balkrishna Doshi, Shigeru Ban & Li Shan
    Shigeru Ban : What is the architectural content to be presented possibly only by exhibitions? The first half of the Exhibition will introduce the disaster relief projects across the world, & the second half of the Exhibition will introduce the projects in progress and the projects in China.
    Li Shan : he gave up his decades-long familiarity with painting, and turned his artistic thinking to topics that are related with bio-science. He claimed to be creating on a canvas once reserved only for the God, and created a new artistic discipline: BioArt.
    Balkrishna Doshi: Celebrating Habitat-The Real, the Virtual & the Imaginary. The exhibition showcases more than thirty pieces of the Indian architect’s notable works, including personal and public housing, community projects, educational institution, urban planning and furniture design.
  • Modern Art Museum Hello, My Name is Paul Smith
    Touring exhibition showcasing the fashion designer’s journey in building his company, as well as his stylistic tastes and eye for design.
  • Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum – Sonsara by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
    “It is a project of imagination and contemplation, containing the reflection of the symbiosis and a control system for human and nature. The two issues that the exhibition wants to discuss, “how humans co-exist with the artificial nature” and “building an ecology, imaging the world after human”, constitute the two sides of the non-zero-sum game between human and non-human beings.”
  • Dialogue In The Dark
    Very exciting life-changing experiences where visitors are guided by blind guides in absolute darkness. You get a chance to experience space and daily environments of life without your sight. Daily routines become exciting and a reversal of role is created where sighted become blind and Blind become sighted. It was a life changing experience. 

 

Connection et empathie

Un post en français n’est pas coutume. Je suis tombée sur cet article du magazine Sciences Humaines et voulait partager cette découverte. Il relie deux de mes sujets ‘de predilection’ de cette année : Connection et Empathie; deux thèmes qui me font beaucoup réfléchir. une etude américaine prouverai que ce ‘déconnecter’, c’est a dire couper internet pendant quelques jours pourrait accroître notre empathie. Etre en permanence ‘scotcher’ devant un écran nous ferai perdre l’habitude de communiquer en vis a vis, resultant sur la perte de capacité relationnel et de pouvoir percevoir des signe / indice non verbaux de communication.

Texte complet ci dessous.


Le débat actuel concernant l’impact du numérique sur les relations sociales n’en finit pas de rebondir. Une étude de l’université de Californie à Los Angeles (UCLA), publiée fin août 2014, indique que se couper d’Internet et plus généralement des écrans pourrait développer notre capacité à décrypter les émotions. Pour parvenir à cette conclusion, les chercheurs ont séparé deux groupes d’adolescents : les uns n’avaient plus aucun accès au Web ni à la télé durant cinq jours ; les autres pouvaient continuer à se connecter aussi souvent que d’habitude. Au début et à la fin de l’expérience, chaque jeune a, par ailleurs, été évalué sur sa capacité à identifier des émotions, en reconnaissant une expression de visage triste, heureuse, inquiète… Verdict : les deux groupes montrent la même habileté au début de l’expérience ; mais à la fin, ceux qui ont été déconnectés font beaucoup moins d’erreurs que les autres !
De là à supposer que les nouvelles technologies sapent notre empathie, il n’y a qu’un pas. « Vous n’apprenez pas à décrypter les indices non verbaux sur un écran de la même façon que dans la vraie vie », alerte ainsi la chercheuse Yalda Uhls, principale auteure de l’étude. Un regard fuyant, une voix hésitante… Ces éléments ont beaucoup d’importance dans les échanges réels. « Si vous ne communiquez pas régulièrement en face à face, vous pourriez perdre d’importantes capacités relationnelles », conclut-elle. Il est, en effet, inquiétant de constater que des différences apparaissent au bout de seulement cinq jours, étant donné que les adolescents sont connectés à longueur de temps et pendant des années… « Les interactions réelles restent nécessaires, y compris en compléments des échanges que l’on peut avoir sur les réseaux sociaux », insiste la psychologue Patricia M. Greenfield, directrice du laboratoire qui a dirigé l’étude. Peut-être qu’il ne suffit pas de chatter pour communiquer…


FROM scienceshumaines

Yalda Uhls et al., « Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preteen skills with nonverbal emotion cues », Computers in Human Behavior, vol. XXXIX, octobre 2014.

Happiness in the affluent West

On a BBC article Happiness dips in midlife in the affluent West it is argued that “in countries such as the UK and the US, life satisfaction followed a U-shape, dipping to a low in midlife.”

For this research, the data set is coming from the Gallup World Poll in more than 160 countries covering more than 98% of the world’s population. As well as physical health and pain, they considered three measures of wellbeing:

  • evaluative – how satisfied people were with their lives
  • hedonic – feelings or moods such as happiness, sadness and anger
  • eudemonic – judgements about the meaning and purpose of life

_78783305_global_life_satisfaction_624

The work by MoveHub is related to this topic. He ask the question : Which country is the happiest in the world? And made an infographics out of the result of the research. It is a visualisation of the data of Happy Planet Index (HPI), which shows to what extent 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy, and sustainable lives for their citizens. The index measures three components:

  • life expectancy
  • experience well-being
  • Ecological Footprint

happiness-around-the-world_feeldesain_01

 

 

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

 

Matthieu Ricard & altruism

Inspiring reflection on happiness – altruism – sustainability

  • potentiel for goodness & do bad – build/destroy depending on our motivation
  • foster an altruistic motivation is better than a selfish one
  • many challenges in our time – we are the major impact on our earth

“5 years ago we were at the edge of a precipice, today we do a big step forward – this edge is the planet boundaries – with this boundaries, there is a number of factors we can still prosper – choose the simplicity”

First thought for a new project

Initial project

Scope: empathy, encouraging not to be selfish/ egocentric
– borders between people
– fear of difference
– zone of comfort
– blind / ignorance of what is happening around you
Outcome: reflect on our place within our society, mankind and environment
– break physical  and psychological  borders
– open to others
– break the feeling of ultra-powerfulness : we can’t see it all

Next project: widening scope / look at another aspect

I push people to reflect on personal questions (borders in mind, or where a single persons  is allowed to go…) Now reflection on the fact we are part of a whole (Analogy with childhood/teenage hood when you gradually increase you awareness of the world around you)
– consequences of our actions/inaction/behaviour
– butterfly effect, long term consequences
– looking a bigger picture
– larger scale
– longer term

I came across this idea after looking at a new TED talk by Matthieu Ricard (see dedicated post and video)
He is saying that we are on “the edge of the planet” and this edge is the boundaries of the planet

 

IMG_0014

 

My context would be his video, to raise awareness of our right, duty and power as an individual to act for a greater good and a better future:

We are at a turning point / point of no return of what the earth can provide
– We have a choice and duty to educate ourselves to act and behave in a more sustainable manner.
– Encouraging people to feel the harmony of our ideal sustainable relationship with earth and the disharmony of our current relationship with it.
– Break the borders we constructed between us and the planet

Proposal

Create an instillation of turntables representing the different continents, one turntable=one continent.  On each a vinyl playing instrument(s) symbol of this continent. They all turn at different speed: speed = energy consumption of the continent (if we were all living like we do in Europe, we would need 2.5 planets to sustain, it would be worth in US… so for us the speed  will be x2.5). Then you would have cursor to answer simple question to calculate how many planet we would need if the rest of the world population was living like ourself. It would modify the speed of these disc. The goal would be to try to make the planet be in harmony (all the disc turning at the same speed to hear the music). 

Tutorial notes

Should look at

  • Sahra Sharma / re-calibration
  • nuclear clock
  • Tom Schoflieldart.com / neurotic armagedon indicator
  • entretags – timebots – family clock
  • Miyajima tatsuo – work with time
  • Sophie Calle – work with memories

The first proposal might be too consensual. We all will never have the same right, same way of living. Do we want a homogene society, like we all are clones ? But in the same time it is not right that some have the ability to consume in 1 hour what other will in a month or more ? How can we find a balance between equality (the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities) and equity (the quality of being fair and impartial: equity of treatment.)

equity

Equity, as we have seen, involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives.  Equality, in contrast, aims to ensure that everyone gets the same things in order to enjoy full, healthy lives. Like equity, equality aims to promote fairness and justice, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same things.

It is worth looking at this video of Hans Rosling about energy consumption and the inequality in the world.

We all live with different temporality as well.

 

Is fast wrong ? (slow food ≠ fast food)

harmony is difficult to define – it is not only fast and slow

Time and territory
When you look linear you miss direction and possibilities
Always in a narrative structure
How to find synchronicity
Try to find a moment where it is possible to detect synchronicity – can be very brief – loss of a moment = tension

I should look at some granularity – detail – personal detail – build a personal reflection

Think about the setting of my research:

  • empirical knowledge
  • interrogate the system
  • give to an test group something to study them
  • think about ethic
  • provocation ?

Other ideas after the tutorial

  • IMG_0193IMG_0195make a record with our own data -> global identification
  • 1 needle become a person – multiple needle on the same record how to find equity to make harmony ?
  • Cut a record to create our own (how a record is made) maybe it is one circle

My Map app

I created a new app called Mymap,  working on the concept to expend our territories and encourage to reflect on all the place we will have to discover in our life, as well as the one we will never see.

De Certeau argues that the act of walking selects and fragments the space traversed; it skips over links and whole parts that is omits. Moreover it can “be traced on city maps in such a way as to transcribe their paths and their trajectories. But these thick or thin curves only refer, like words, to the absence of what has passed by. A spacial order organises an ensemble of possibilities and interdictions, then the walker actualises some of these possibilities. In that way, he makes them exists as well as emerge.” [3]. It is what the app is doing: revealing the choices taken, the places visited or the path used, while the rest is hidden behind a white layer.

This is the mockup of my idea.

In my head it was quite a simple idea (coming from a person who don’t have any experience in coding yet) but in application it has been quite difficult and several iteration of the app had been necessary.

First I thought it would have been possible to make a reverse heat map: instead of having colours appearing on a layer on top of the map, it would make transparent the white layer. In practice what was possible is to draw a white layer on google maps by giving the points clockwise then removing polygons from this layer by giving the point anticlockwise. It created a lot of different issues: closing the route every time we created a new point: drawing the territory and not the route; superposed polygons resulting on re-masking the map…

 

The solution came up with the discovery of hulljs. Using a complex algorithm, it draws around the GPS points the route.

The app uses phone gap, a free and open source framework that allows you to create mobile apps using standardized web APIs for web platforms as well as mobile app with the same code. The language is Java Script. To store the routs (even is it not possible yet with the current version) HTML5 Local Storage will be use. Google maps API, Cordova plugin geolocation and the GPS of the phone are used as well.

I am already thinking about a future version of the app. I would like to make the map appearing in different shade of colours: for example the area you use all the time (’your territory’: going to work and back home for example) would be tinted in red, whereas the one you visited only once would be blue. it would allow a better understanding of the territory.

For complementary informations about the app (interface, calculus of the opacity), or more references have a look to the slides of my presentation and my research.

Looking @ ‘to be disconnected’

On my last post about the different topic I was looking I developed the one on borders.

Since few days I was looking at ‘to be disconnected’ in relation with happiness (the border theme also have a connection with happiness in the way I see it). I looked at the fact that when you work you are expected to answer an email promptly, or the time spending on social media in comparaison with ‘human’ (see this post).

On this topic I am interested in making the ‘invisible’, ‘visible’ (same ideas with the borders, I guess happiness and make the invisible visible are the commun aspect in both cases). Visualise all the data surrounding us all the time.

I am asquint the question: is there a correlation with being more connected? If you are in an environment with less radiation would you spend less time on your mobile?

For that I would like to measure:

• the level of radiation corresponding with location and to see if the person is more connected when there is more waves around (link GPS tracking and, data transfert and level of radiation).

• how much data transferred on a location (link GPS tracking and data transfert) and superpose with the map of coverage

• the number of word exchange with a real person in comparaison with number of word with social media (or time speeding corresponding verbally and on social media)

I guess it is maybe less interesting than the ‘border’ theme, as a lot of people are looking at the subject currently with these app helping to disconnect: FreedomI Off YouAntisocialForest or the wall paper which block radiations, and the WiFi cold spot.

I read that problems linked up with hyper connectivity are more a society issues (we use technology to respond to what is expected from us… ) and not a technical issue. Create more technology to not use technology seems not the right things to do, it is “the cat biting its own tail”.

I don’t think I can come with anything to change today society, because it means to solve a question of hierarchy (have the power, to be disconnected against society expect me to be connected all the time), also job organisation and planification, and  finally todays life style (teenagers hyper connected…).

ARTICLES

How Technology Can Help Work/Life Balance

La surconnexion est une question sociale, il est temps de s’en préoccuper