Stefan Sagmeister on Design and Happiness

Chris Higgins

Amidst today's rash of April Fool's pranks, here's an alternative: a 2004 TED talk that's both sober and entertaining. In this talk, designer Stefan Sagmeister discusses the things in life that have made him the happiest. He goes further, trying to understand why these things made him happy, and how design relates to happiness. I really appreciate his story of the combination of a Walkman, motorcycle, and the album Synchronicity combining to form one of his happiest moments.

Viewers of the documentary Helvetica may recognize Sagmeister as the creator of a 1999 poster in which (gross alert) he scratched text into his own skin, then photographed his body. Truly an interesting guy.

One warning -- some happiness-related paintings containing nudity are briefly shown in the middle of the talk. If you can handle those, you'll get to some truly entertaining public art projects afterwards:

Has something made you particularly happy lately? Share in the comments -- or just have a nice Tuesday!