Category Archives: degree project

FEELin’ week 6

it’s moving fast!

we experimented with making our own conductive paint. we tried coloring the wood first with a graphite stick then covering with acrylic / ink, and then we tried mixing graphite powder with acrylic / ink.

and we had kaylie test it out //

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WE DID IT!!!! #makeymakey

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we then worked on our elevation and layout of our now interactive table //

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science behind your smile

weeeell I finished happiness: the science behind your smile [daniel nettle] a while ago… here are the many relevant exerts from my final readings from the book //

“As we have seen, extroverts want rewarding things more strongly than introverts do. However, it doesn’t follow that they should be any happier. It could even be the other way around. With so many things that they crave, they might be dissatisfied much of the time. Moreover, wanting things strongly is not the same as liking them once you have them.” [happiness, 102]

“That is to say, extroverts have more positive emotion, but can have just as much negative emotion as anyone else. If it is any consolation, the cheery socialite can have moments of existential dread and pain just like anyone else. I think the most likely explanation for the greater happiness of extroverts is that they are more likely to do things with a strong emotional reward. At any given point in time, your extrovert is more likely to be married, more likely to have been to a party, more likely to have been playing sports, more likely to have talked to friends, and has had sex more recently, than your introvert. His personality leads him to draw a series of moments of reward from the environment. Thus when you ask him, he is differentially likely to be in a positive affective state. People who rate their happiness as unusually high are low-neuroticism extroverts who spend little time alone. Thus, at the moment of asking, they are more likely to have just come from some social interaction or other.” [happiness, 102]

“People make choices because they believe that one alternative will make them happier than the other. They must believe this, or they would be indifferent, resigned, and ultimately disaffected.” [happiness, 112]

As the personality findings show that happiness stems mainly not from the world itself, but from the way people address the world itself, but from the way people address the world. This is one of the few things in life you can work on directly. You have all the resources you need to do it available already, and it is probably easier to change yourself than it is to change the whole of your external circumstances (it is certainly a lot cheaper). And the life-events studies suggest that if you can change yourself, the external world may even begin to follow suit.” [happiness, 113]

“Human choices have a point not just because of their impact on feelings of pleasure and worry but also because of their effects on broader goods like interest, equity, beauty, justice, harmony, and community. Thus the lesson of the personality studies might be that, apart from the negative cognition so serious that it stops you functioning, you should not be completely preoccupies by the level of felt joy and worry. As Martin Seligman has argues, sweating over changing these things will have only limited effect. Instead, you have to learn to put them into context and lift your eyes beyond them to the broader horizon.” [happiness, 114]

“Although we implicitly feel that the things we want in life will make us happy, this may be a particularly cruel trick played by our evolved mind to keep us competing. The things we want in life are the things the evolved mind tells us to want, and it doesn’t give a fig about our happiness. All the evidence suggest that you would probably be happier not caring about your promotion and going and building boats or doing volunteer work instead. Moreover, the more important people believe financial success is, the more dissatisfied with both work and family life they are.” [happiness, 152]

“The hedonic paradox is the notion that by pursuing happiness itself, one makes it more distant, whereas by pursuing something else, one can inadvertently bring it closer. The paradox was clearly articulated by, amongst others, John Stuart Mill: Those only are happy… who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness along the way. By contrast, by focusing in on one’s own happiness, one inevitable draws attention to its shortfall; ‘ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.’ [happiness, 154]

“to experience happiness requires us to be at least sometimes fully present in the here and now, and not distracted by desires or self-consciousness: It is a flaw. In happiness, to see beyond our bourn— It forces us in summer skies to mourn. It spoils the singing of the nightingale.” [happiness, 160]

“Evolution has given us a strong implicit theory of happiness. That is, we come to the world believing that there is such a thing as achievable happiness, that it is desirable and important, and that the things that we desire will bring it about. It is not self-evident that any of these are actually true. This does not matter, however. Evolution’s purposes are served if it can trick us in to working for things that are good for our fitness. It can do this by making us believe that those things bring happiness, and that happiness is what we want. It doesn’t actually have to deliver the happiness in the end. The idea of happiness has done its job if it has kept us trying. In other words, evolution hasn’t set us up for the attainment of happiness, merely its pursuit.” [happiness, 168]

“In his play Man and superman, George Bernard Shaw has one of his characters exclaim: ‘A lifetime of happiness. No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.’ This points up one of the many fascinating paradoxes associated with happiness. Although we all seem to feel that happiness is desirable and its pursuit important, fictional world where everyone is happy are never Utopias. In fact, they are always dystopias against which people rebel.” [happiness, 170]

“The basis of many gratifications is precisely the challenge required to obtain them, and short-cutting this removes their appeal. Thus, paradoxically, in order to have the possibility of deep gratification, we need to admit the possibility of failure and frustration into our lives. It is necessary to have the possibility of unhappiness for happiness to have any meaning.” [happiness, 172] ” As Nathaniel Hawthorne put it: Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” [happiness, 184]


monica and I are full on partnering up. we are making one dope installation.

the video in the presentation //

some fun interactive inspiration here 


time to brand//

all the colors. the final selection on the right.

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all the shapes for our sources of positive emotion. Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.46.43 PM

and finally FEEL. we are really digging our brand. Print


and then a NEEEEEWWW schedule. oh my. the weeks are slimming down. Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.35.41 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.35.33 PMgots to get a move on… oh happy day


h a p p y

I watched hector and the search for happiness. which was pretty good movie. it’s about a psychologist who goes on the hunt to find what makes people happy so he can better help his patients. but truly he is out to find what makes him happy. throughout his journey he makes these observations:

1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness
2. A lot of people think happiness means being richer or more important
3. Many people see happiness only in their future
4. Happiness could be the freedom to love more than one woman at the same time
5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story
6. Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness
7. Does the person you’re with bring you predominantly a) up b) down
8. Happiness is answering your calling
9. Happiness is being loved for who you are
10. Sweet potato stew
11. Fear is an impediment of happiness
12. Happiness is feeling completely alive
13. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate
14. Listening is loving
15. Nostalgia is not what it used to be

I started reading happiness: the science behind your smile. this book is a bit more dry and statistical. i am half way through 90/180 pages. here are a few of the tid bits that i have found interesting so far:

“An autotelic person: Needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power or fame, because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding… they are less dependent on external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of dull and meaningless routines. They are more autonomous and independent, because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life.” [happiness, page 26]

“Why are people so happy? Is it simply that positive emotions are more frequent in life than negative ones, and so the balance is in the black? This may be true, but there are also other reasons people might report better-than-middling happiness when asked. Chronic unhappiness might indicate perceived failure to achieve life goals, or unfavorable comparisons with the achievement of others. As well as being things to avoid for their own sake, these are, to paraphrase evolutionary psychologist, Geoffrey Miller, things you might not want to admit to on a first date. That is, unhappiness is not just unfortunate; it is unattractive in a potential mat, friend, or colleague. ” [happiness, page 52]

“The question ‘How happy are you in general?’ put baldly, lacks any appropriate frame of reference, so people seek one, probably by comparing themselves either to peers or to some ideal of what they want. If they have a rose-tinted view of where they stand relative to their peers, and how easy it will be to attain what they want, then of course they will come up with the inference that they must be pretty happy is in part a reflection of the endearingly unrealistic psychology with which we address the world…” [happiness, page 54]

“Brickman and Campbell created the vivid metaphor of the hedonic treadmill to explain the implacability of levels of happiness. Each time we advance towards a desired state, we quickly get used to the new terrain, and thus have no more satisfaction there then we did in the previous location. As a result, we work hard at running but never get anywhere.”  [happiness, page 76]

“Our implicit theory of happiness will always try to fool us into thinking that amassing more positional goods—keeping up with the Joneses—will make us happier in the long run, but, objectively, this will not happen. On the other hand, health, autonomy, social embededness, and the quality of the environment are real sources of happiness.” [happiness, page 87]

“Even more importantly, our choices in life are driven not by our actual experience of happiness, but by our implicit theory of happiness.”  [happiness, page 89]

B hand suggested watching 30 rock season 7 episode 12 cause it’s about the characters searching for what makes them happy.  I didn’t really know much of what was going on since i haven’t watched the show ever but i did get this  quote out of it: “If you have to ask if you’re happy, then you probably aren’t.”

And it looks like monica and i will be collaborating on our interactive installation. so that seems pretty cool. not sure on all the details of that yet, but it would be bringing people together and possibly using laughter sounds. whoa. exciting. then i also would like to make a “happy gram” app that would have filters of things that make you happy, and then you would go on to schedule times of the day that you typically need a pick me up, so it would alert you with a glimpse of “happiness,” and alter you immediate emotional state for that moment in time. then there’s this classic //