Upcycled Urbanism: street hacking with MOV

by Charles Montgomery on

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 day in July, hundreds of people came together to re-invent a Vancouver street using giant blocks… Continue reading

On the sunny side of the street

by Charles Montgomery on

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 how to use design to get people from a place of anxiety and fear to a… Continue reading

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

by Charles Montgomery on

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 our homes and neighbourhoods can influence how many local friends we have, without us even knowing… Continue reading

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

by Charles Montgomery on

  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 launch of my new book: Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (Doubleday). ·      Test new… Continue reading

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

by Charles Montgomery on

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 a laboratory for exploring the psychology of public space, for one night only. And yes, of… Continue reading

Author Archives: Charles Montgomery