Thursday 6 September 2018 11:08 PM UTC
LONDON Sept 7: This is the era of emojis, a time when our emotional lives are played out on social media and when a nation’s happiness ranking is treated as a serious socioeconomic indicator.
The first World Happiness Report was published in 2012 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a project of the United Nations.
Since then, Britain has appointed a minister for loneliness, and the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and India have appointed minsters for happiness — with varying degrees of success.
Emotional States is the theme selected by organizers of this year’s London Design Biennale, which takes over Somerset House on Sept. 4. During the Biennale, 40 pavilions representing nations, territories and cities will explore the relationship among design, social needs and our emotional responses.
“At its core, the Biennale is about how design can create emotions, play off emotions and learn from emotions,” said John Sorrell, president of the event. “I want to make people think about the challenge that designers have to try and make things better, and how emotional response fits within this.”
The result is a broad interpretation across design disciplines. While some participants examine emotional response at its most visceral, such as the Latvian pavilion’s interactive exhibit exploring the joy of doodling in condensation, many participants take a more intellectual tack, creating immersive experiences that deal with heavy-duty political and social issues.
Design is viewed as an agent for positive change, rather than simply the process of creating objects.
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