Hap­py new year

ELLE Decor (Italy) - - English Text - by Va­len­ti­na Rag­gi

Not the usual good wi­shes, but a con­cre­te pro­ject for the near fu­tu­re. Hap­pi­ness is the key word of ar­chi­tec­ts and ar­tists, go­vern­men­ts and com­pa­nies. Star­ting off right

Ac­cor­ding to ma­jor world uni­ver­si­ties, the GNH ( Gross Na­tio­nal Hap­pi­ness) of a coun­try is a key ele­ment of its so­cio- eco­no­mic va­lue. Bhu­tan is num­ber one in the world, wi­th low per ca­pi­ta weal­th but hi­gh le­vels of well­being thanks to spi­ri­tual/ en­vi­ron­men­tal sta­bi­li­ty. La­st No­vem­ber, Du­bai De­si­gn Week de­di­ca­ted the talk ‘ Cul­tu­re, com­mu­ni­ty and col­la­bo­ra­tion: the ar­chi­tec­tu­re of hap­pi­ness’ to the Pa­ri­sot­to + For­men­ton and Ma­rio Cu­ci­nel­la stu­dios. ‘ Buil­ding Hap­pi­ness’ was, on the other hand, the com­mon th­read run­ning th­rou­gh the 2018 Ar­chi­tec­tu­re Film Fe­sti­val in Rot­ter­dam. To­day, hap­pi­ness is a key the­me in the glo­bal de­ba­te. Why did you start to fo­cus on hap­pi­ness? “I was con­vin­ced that the sha­pe of an ob­ject was se­con­da­ry to its func­tion. I was wrong. If so­me­thing is de­si­gned well or bad­ly it ma­kes a dif­fe­ren­ce to how we feel,” re­plies Ste­fan Sag­mei­ster, a crea­ti­ve who ope­ned the de­ba­te on the to­pic back in 2012. To­day, when eco­no­mic, cli­ma­tic and so­cial cri­ses are ob­jec­ti­ve ur­gen­cies, it is fun­da­men­tal to think and act po­si­ti­ve­ly. In de­si­gn, fun­ny sha­pes, ‘ smi­les’ or hi­gh- im­pact co­lours are of­ten ae­sthe­tic choi­ces to pre­sent pro­found con­cep­ts. One exam­ple is the work of the Ri­ve Ro­shan duo, who ex­plo­re the link bet­ween de­si­gn and hap­pi­ness. Spea­king of ar­chi­tec­tu­re and urban plan­ning, the Dut­ch ar­chi­tec­ts at UNS­tu­dio are ex­pe­ri­men­ting wi­th the UNSen­se lab pro­jec­ts wi­th a fo­cus on well­ness, whi­le Con­scious Ci­ties is a mo­ve­ment that star­ted out in London and in a re­cent talk fo­cu­sed on em­pa­thic spa­ces, de­si­gned to bring out po­si­ti­ve emo­tions. Wi­th, in ad­di­tion to sta­ti­sti­cal da­ta, a ( hap­py) mo­del: small and me­dium- si­zed Ita­lian ci­ties, whe­re the slow pa­ce of li­fe and com­mu­ni­ty bu­si­ness are prac­ti­ces that should be ex­por­ted to all­glo­bal me­tro­po­li­ses.

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