Measuring Happiness

Emotions, metrics, systems, and mapping (2011)

The challenge of this project was to create an understanding of happy experiences and document them in a systematic manner. An enthusiast of all things aeronautical, I focused on the happiness derived from my interactions with airplanes. I monitored my heart rate, breathing, and general level of enthusiasm for each event associated with flying. From watching airplane footage and seeing them fly overhead, to actually being on board, I developed a consistent set of dimensions to qualify and quantify data.

I created a three-dimensional topographic map of where I was working, visualizing the different spatial relationships I had with the aircrafts. In addition, I created an action plan to operationalize happiness as I had come to understand its accessibility. As a result, I was able to develop metrics around seemingly intangible, emotional experiences and convey them an engaging way. The experience also allowed me to explore play through pragmatic means and to use design as a creative research tool.