Pursuit of Happiness @ OSU | classes

The positive design movement was initiated with the intention of increasing people’s subjective well-being in order to increase an enduring appreciation of their lives. The framework addresses three main components of subjective well-being resulting in three ingredients of positive design: design for virtue, design for pleasure, and design for personal significance. A positive design means to stimulate happiness on all three levels of giving pleasure, providing a sense of fulfillment, and facilitating virtuous behavior. In Fall 2018, two undergraduate studio classes were set to explore the subject of “happiness” with their semester-long creative projects.

In one class (DSN 3400.003 Design Media I), students were asked to design Digital App concepts for the iPads issued to OSU freshmen that promote positive psychology strategies to support mental well-being.The App concepts students proposed, based on user research and their own experiences, have addressed topics such as community support, gratitude, and mindfulness. Diagram below shows the subject coverage from 16 student proposed interactive app projects that intend to increase happiness on campus.

[diagram created by: Shasha Yu, graduate assistant]

[left: OpenSpace by Amber Lanese. Right: Canopy by Ethan Newburger]

Another class (DSN 5505 Information Design for non-design majors) was set to use information design tactics to visualize students' daily activities, document in a gratitude journal, and explore new opportunities to enable, assist, and inspire their own pursuits of happiness. The project results from these two classes revealed some insights of students' mental status in relation to their behaviors and social surroundings.

Curriculum details are available on AIGA Design Teaching Resource

[left to right: 10,000 Minutes by Matt Goetz; What Powers Me by Quinn McLaughlin; Noting by Thomas Ferguson; Meaning of Happiness by Stephanie Smithson]