study break

The Aesthetics of Joy

What’s the connection between color, aesthetics, and joy? Ingrid Fetell Lee discusses below.

Some highlights:

  1. Lee’s personal conversations led her to conclude that bubbles, treehouses, sprinkled ice cream cones, and googly eyes are consistently associated with joy.
  2. Things that spark joy tend to fit a consistent pattern across age, gender, and ethnicity.
  3. Common happiness sparks: symmetric patterns, a sense of abundance (think: confetti, rather than one confetto), roundness, undulating lines, and color.
  4. Students in brightly painted schools report feeling safer and have higher attendance rates.
  5. Employees report higher confidence and boosted mood in offices designed with the aesthetics she discovered.

The science of happiness is, itself, another thing that makes me happy. A sense of delight may well connect us to people we’ve never met.

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