Thursday, September 9, 2010

A New Architecture of Happiness?

The proposed campus of the Rethinking Happiness project (from
Hello and happy Thursday morning. It's another overcast day in Los Angeles, so let's get right into the news--namely this story by Maria Popova of big think. It details a new architectural/research project by Aldo Cibic that aims to create a sustainable community of happy people.

Aldo writes:
We have to prepare ourselves to see with new eyes, to think about a tabula rasa situation in which to redefine needs, habits, activities, dreams in relation to new conditions of existence, to think about a more up-to-date idea of contemporary life.
Apart from the artsy talk, this community sounds like a great place to live. Most researchers agree that a sense of community is an important ingredient for happiness (and also life-expectancy). If Aldo's campus brings people closer together than more "normal" city housing, it probably will make for a happier population.

What do you think? If you live in a big city, how happy are you? Would living in the Rethinking Happiness community make you happier?  We're still hard up for comments, so send one our way.

Via big think


  1. This kind of reminds me of the ideas of the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist movement, which also contain detailed framework for the creation of happy, non-violent societies. :) Great stuff! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. That Venus Project looks very interesting. It reminds me of those future buildings in SimCity 2000, but cooler. Thank YOU for letting me know about it!

  3. A sustainable community of happy people? Although it does sound interesting and optimistic, it's also a bit utopic or even futuristic... I feel like the people of today are not quite ready!! lol

  4. More than possible...I do my best to surround myself with like-minded people. Those devoted to both personal happiness and growth can achieve so much more collectively.

  5. Yes, it might be a bit pie-in-the-sky, and the designs are certainly far off. BUT community living does make a difference in happiness. I can't find the link right now, but Denmark (often number 1 on lists of happiest countries) has a lot of people living in community housing (like dormitories for adults). It may seem counterintuitive, but these people are often happier than people in "normal" houses, so happy communities may not be as far-fetched as you think!

  6. Martha: Yeah, being around like-minded people is the best way to achieve your goals and feel good while doing it. Take a look at this article, "Your happiness could be contagious":

  7. Humm, I see your point! Just thinking now that it might not be that easy to actually incorporate the idea - what works for Denmark might not work in a different society. I think it's important for people to be sort of ready, but now how to get people to be ready is a whole different question! lol