Mysteries of the empathic city

A short talk about urban experimentation, empathy and designed conviviality at Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon in Vancouver (Feb, 2014):

Machines for Happiness

By Seth Geiser Can art and design make us kinder? Can we design more trust or altruism into the city? These are questions everyone can help answer. Working with the Museum of Vancouver, we challenged students from Simon Frasier University’s School of Interactive Art and Technology (SIAT), Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD),Continue Reading

Hug a stranger, change your city: a social trust photo album

‘Do you two know each other?” Study after study has confirmed that social connectedness is a prime determinant of human wellbeing. It’s interesting to note then, that the vast majority of people in our lives, from passing acquaintances to old friends, were initially strangers. When is the moment that strangers become people worth trusting? Richard RenaldiContinue Reading

Upcycled Urbanism: street hacking with MOV

My flat-out funnest moment in 2013 involved one street, hundreds of giant building blocks and two fire trucks, in an experience that shouted loudly about the alchemy the that happens when people–lots of people–are empowered to play with urban design. I’ll get to the fire trucks later, but here’s the back story: For one dayContinue Reading

On the sunny side of the street

Architects love to hate Disneyland for its shameless nostalgia and fakery. But psychologists and neuroscientists are fascinated by the place. Disney and his designers showed an uncanny understanding of the way that architecture affects emotions, neuroimmunologist Esther Sternberg told me. “They figured out in the 1950s and ’60s, long before we understood neuroscience, exactly howContinue Reading

Three stories, one message: we can all use design for happiness

The best thing about researching Happy City was getting a chance to see how designers, engineers and regular people are using design to improve human experience in cities. Now Jessica Leber at Fast Company has pulled three excerpts from the book that tell this story vividly. The first looks at how the design of ourContinue Reading

A Night of Social Experimentation At the Guggenheim

By Seth Geiser There were no book readings at the NYC launch of Happy City. Instead, we transformed the Participatory City gallery at the Guggenheim Museum into a laboratory of interactive experiments in social trust and happiness. Our goal: to explore, in a visceral way, the relationship between the design of our cities and the shape ofContinue Reading

Secrets of the world’s happiest cities: excerpt – Guardian UK

What makes a city a great place to live – your commute, property prices or good conversation? The Guardian seeks answers in this adapted excerpt from Happy City.  “By designing cities in a way that values everyone’s experience, we can make cities that help us all get stronger, more resilient, more connected, more active andContinue Reading

Happy City Machine: Vancouver book launch + party + design lab

  SORRY FOLKS THIS IS SOLD OUT. YOU CAN STILL CATCH AMAZING DESIGNS FOR HAPPINESS AT THE  HAPPY MACHINE LAB, SAME DAY. Hey YVR! Come join us as the Museum of Vancouver is transformed for one night into a laboratory of happiness on Nov. 23. Experiments in trust, design, and urban joy will intermingle with a celebration of the launchContinue Reading

Happy City launching in NYC with lab/experiment/party at the Guggenheim

Happy City launching in NYC with lab/experiment/party at the Guggenheim

After dozens of cities, dozens of interviews,  thousands of pages of research and several thrilling experiments, Happy City is finally being born. We’re launching the book at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City on Nov. 2. There will be no readings. Instead we will transform the Participatory City Exhibition space into aContinue Reading