The source of happiness lies at the intersection of philosophy, theology, psychology, economics, and relationships, but no one has been truly able to put a finger on the exact definition of what it means for all people. However, that didn’t stop Austrain-born graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, who decided to tackle the problem of defining happiness head on and from a perspective he readily understands, graphic design. The result? Well, that’s “The Happy Show” Exhibition currently showing at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Sagmeister approached the task much like his past work – which has ranged from Rolling Stones album covers to ad campaigns - with extensive introspection and research into the depths of human personality.
Sagmeister soon learns that there are only three sources of happiness: meditation, cognitive therapy and mood-altering pharmaceuticals, and his exhibit is a sort of living documentary of what he has learned trying each one, but it is also a demonstration of proverbs he has come to trust and an attempt to describe the many facets of being happy. As he puts it, “I am usually rather bored with definitions. Happiness, however, is such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down.” You can see his attempt to “pin it down” for yourself from April 4 through August 12, 2012 at the ICA.
Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania
118 S. 36th Street | Map
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289
Exhibition Dates: Now – August 12th, 2012