PSFK Conference

October 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Image from PSFK website.

Have a look at what PSKF had to say about us here.

The conference was held in the Purcell Room in Southbank next to the Queen Elizabeth Hall. There was a fantastic line up of speakers coming from a variety of backgrounds – what they had in common was innovation. I was privileged to be included as a speaker, and I can only hope that I achieve as much as some of the speakers did in my career. There were stories about designing spaces with light and film from the Rockwell Group, and about how the Innocent brand was created.

The experience of speaking on the panel was useful for me; unfortunately I missed some of the talks because I was behind the stage waiting to go on, but I very much look forward to seeing the videos online when they come out. We didn’t have much time on stage so we probably gave out a very limited view of our experience as graduates trying to get work. Halfway through our session I realised that I hadn’t explained the superhero thing, so I tried to reasonably explain why I dressed up for so long to a very mixed audience as part of one of my replies to a question. It was a difficult task but a couple of people asked me about it afterwards in a positive way.

‘For Lior Smith, who spent two months dressed up as a superhero (as part of her final thesis), she wants to make the world a better place, an opportunity not often provided when starting a career, ‘maybe in 20 years we’ll get what we want,’ she commented.’

Video of panel to follow.


Last couple of days

March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

They’ve been rubbish for well-being!

Anyway. Interesting happiness article about how happy we are in our homes.

Daily Mail Happiness Survey

Apparently Enfield, where I live, is among the unhappiest.

Proof that action needs to be taken in the community.

Well-Being Superhero summary taken from an email

March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

My character is called ‘The Optimist’ and I go around in a yellow cape, tiara and cuffs, a bit like Wonder Woman, and do good deeds around uni. It’s mad – but that’s Goldsmiths. I help people carry heavy bags, lend rose tinted glasses to really sad people, and say things like ‘you can do it!’ when they doubt themselves. Whenever it looks like someone needs help I lend a hand. Apart from that, going to the library in a cape leads to making quite a few people smile, so just being around cheers up the atmosphere. The serious issues I’m addressing are about the state of well-being of our society in general and how to form communities in London. Eventually I hope to persuade other people to decide to take the community/well-being superhero attitude too, by looking out for where they can help and acting on it.

The making of…

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here’s some images from the process of making the context report.
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Context Report done!

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here are images of the finished version of my context report (dissertation in non-Goldsmiths language). We had to make two identical copies. I hand bound both. Surprisingly, and thanks to my practice by making hand bound books as presents for my friends and family, the actual binding didn’t take that long. What took the most time was the research and writing, and almost comparable to that time was the agonising over the graphic layout of the book in the final few weeks. As someone not especially experienced with graphics apart from putting together my portfolio last year and reading some books about it, the graphic bit was hard. In fact, all the aspects of making this book were challenging, but satisfyingly so.
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December 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

There’s a common misconception (in my opinion) about contentment. People think that contentment will lead to laziness. In fact, as Mihalyi Cizintkmihalyi says, true satisfaction comes when we are growing. In that case, we are content when we are growing, and we need to keep growing to keep up that contentment.

I’m speaking from my own experience too. It’s possible that other people are content without growing. I can’t imagine that for myself. I don’t understand those people – perhaps those people ought not be content so they continue to be productive. Me – I’m only content with myself if I have been/am being productive, be that in work (that I enjoy and feel is useful) or socially.

My project is based on theory, so that I can take inspiration from something respected to validate my work.

Bibliography – all neatened up!

December 20, 2011 § Leave a comment


Nick Powdthavee, The Happiness Equation: The Surprising Economics Of Our Most Valuable Asset (London: Icon Books, 2011).

Alain De Botton, Status Anxiety (London: Penguin Books, 2004).

Neil Scott and Sandi Mann, This book has feelings: Adventures in the Philosophy and Psychology of your Mind (London: Quid Publishing, 2010).

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Classic Work on How To Achieve Happiness (London: Rider, 2002).

Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life (New York: Penguin Group, 2009).

Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, (Malden: Blackwell, 2008).

Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment (New York: Free Press, 2002).

Tony Fry, Design As Politics (Oxford: Berg, 2011).

“Why Negative Emotions Can Be Our Best Friends,” Psychologies Magazine [London], Nov. 2011: 96.

Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, “The Many Faces of Happiness,” Scientific American Mind [New York], Sept./Oct. 2011: P51-55

“Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology,” Ted Talks, Jul 2008, 29 Nov. 2011

“Initial investigation into Subjective Well-being from the Opinions Survey,” Office of National Statistics, 1 Dec. 2011, 13 Dec. 2011

The Happy Planet Index 2.0, New Economics Foundation, 2009, 20 Dec. 2011

The Happiness Formula, BBC Two, London, 3 May 2006 – 7 June 2006.

Making Slough Happy, BBC Two, London, 15 Nov. 2005 – 6 Dec. 2005.

Further reading

Annie Leonard, The Story Of Stuff (London: Constable & Robinson Ltd., 2010).

Victor Papanek, Design For The Real World (London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1991).

Michael Eid and Randy J. Larsen, The Science of Subjective Well-Being (New York: Guilford Press, 2008).

Robert Epstein, “Fight the Frazzled Mind,” Scientific American Mind [New York], Sept./Oct. 2011: 30-35

Bruce Hood, “Mine!: Passion for Possessions,” Scientific American Mind [New York], Sept./Oct. 2011: 56-63

Terry Marks with Matthew Porter, Good Design (Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers, Inc. 2009).

William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler, Universal Principles of Design (Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers, Inc., 2003).

Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road (London: Methuen, 2001).

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Diamond As Big As The Ritz and Other Stories (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 1994).

Earnest Hemingway, Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises (London: Vintage, 2005).

John Martin’s The Apocalypse Exhibition, “The Fall of Babylon,” Tate Britain, London, 2011.

“Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow,” Ted Talks, Oct. 2008, 29 Nov. 2011

Elizabeth Scott, M.S., “Cortisol and Stress: How to Stay Healthy,” Stress Management, 22 Sept. 2011, 30 Nov. 2011

Marina Kamenev, “Rating Countries for the Happiness Factor,” Bloomberg Business Week, 11 Oct. 2006, 11 Dec. 2011

Duncan Clark, “Why is our consumption falling?”, The Guardian, 31 Oct. 2011, 1 Nov. 2011

Richard McKeever, “My Bowes Park”, Bowes & Bounds Connected, 10 Apr. 2011, 21 Oct. 2011

Martin Seligman, “Authentic Happiness,” The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, 2006, 13 Dec. 2011

“Positive Psychology Research,” John Templeton Foundation: Supporting science, investing in the big questions, 2010, 13 Dec. 2011

iOpener, 13 Dec 2011

“Living with less: wellbeing in the slump”, The Guardian, 1 Dec. 2011, 1 Dec. 2011

Steve Doughty, “A £2m bill to find out that most of us are fairly happy”, The Mail Online, 2 Dec 2011, 2 Dec 2011–2m-Britons-fairly-happy.html

Sasha Kerr, “Richard Layard on Happiness @ The School Of Life,” The Happiness Project London: A journey to the smiley side of London life, 25 Jan. 2011, 13 Dec. 2011

Action for Happiness, 13 Dec 2011

“Test your happiness,” BBC News, Programmes: The Happiness Formula, 8 Mar. 2006, 13 Dec 2011

DIY Happiness, 13 Dec 2011

There’s a Riot Going On, conference, 1 Dec. 2011.

Samuel Carlisle, Interview on the London Protests, 28 Oct. 2011.

All images are the author’s own unless stated here.

Leah Dieterich, “Thx thx thx: a thank you note a day,” 5 Dec. 2011, 13 Dec. 2011

“Why Negative Emotions Can Be Our Best Friends,” Psychologies Magazine [London], Nov. 2011: 96.

Graphic Inspiration

Ellen Lupton, Thinking With Type, Second Edition (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010).

Paul Arden, Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite (London: Penguin, 2006).

Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage (London: Penguin, 2008).

Thomas Thwaites, The Toaster Project (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011).

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