Project Territory and Design
December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
In the light of the recent riots and protests in Britain, it is obvious that we are dissatisfied in our society. I wanted to find out how as a society we could become more satisfied with our lives. To do this, I learnt about positive psychology to find what the scientists know. It turns out that happiness can be measured, and there are several things one can do to improve life satisfaction – both as individuals and as a society. My project is not about fleeting moments of feeling, but about improving the overall well being of people, of which the effects can be measured.
If psychologists can try to improve well being, so can designers. I want to help the positive psychologists by designing tools or platforms that people can use to improve their well being and life satisfaction, based on the scientific findings. Our government has just launched a £2 million campaign for well being, but they have been asking the wrong questions, even according to the New Economic Foundation who are helping them. I want to design according to the scientifically backed findings for the sake of making our society a happier place to be; perhaps this will help politicians understand the psychologists better.
Extra note: the positive psychologists have found relationships and feeling as though your life has meaning to be the most important indicators of life satisfaction and well being. Being able to control your own mind and appreciate what you have, rather than ‘keeping up with the Jones’ constantly, also makes a big difference. My project will probably be designing to forge new relationships and skills, maybe at the same time, or helping people to focus on appreciating what they already have.