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

A Night of Social Experimentation At the Guggenheim

by Seth Geiser on

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 of human experience. “We are not as free as we might think in cities,” Charles explained.… Continue reading

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

by Seth Geiser on

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 and more free. We just have to decide who our cities are for. And we have… 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