Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show

 Stefan Sagmeister‘s  “The Happy Show” is still on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania until August 12, 2012.

Sagmeister not only tests the boundary between art and design, but often transgresses it through his imaginative implementation of typography. The Happy Show, a thematic exhibition of film, print, infographics, sculpture, and interactive installations offers visitors the experience of walking into the designer’s mind as he attempts to increase his happiness via mediation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals.

Centered around the designer’s ten-year exploration of happiness, this exhibition presents typographic investigations of a series of maxims, or rules to live by, originally culled from Sagmeister‘s diary, manifested in a variety of imaginative and interactive forms. To contextualize the maxims that appear throughout the exhibition, Sagmeister has gathered the social data of Harvard psychologists Daniel Gilbert and Steven Pinker, psychologist Jonathan Haidt, anthropologist Donald Symons, and several prominent historians. In addition to individual works, some of which have been custom-made for this exhibition, The Happy Show includes a personal narrative, as Sagmeister‘s individual experience is portrayed beside social data detailing the role of age, gender, race, money, and other factors that determine happiness. A 12-minute segment of the Having Guts, a feature length exploration of whether it is possible to train the mind the way we train the body, will also be on view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • CREATIVE DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister
  • ART DIRECTION & DESIGN: Jessica Walsh
  • DESIGN: Verena Michelitsch, Jordan Amer, Simon Egli, Martin Gnadt

Stefan Sagmeister (b. 1962 Bregenz, Austria; lives New York) is a designer who blends typography and imagery in striking, fresh, ambitious, and unsettling ways. Having influenced the culture of design over the past decade, he is perhaps best known for his album covers for Talking Heads, Lou Reed, OK Go, and The Rolling Stones, to name only a few, as well as innovative campaigns, for companies like Levis, that have entered the public consciousness.

Photos sources: © sagmeisterwalsh.com, thehappyshow.tumblr.com and designboom.

See our other stories on Sagmeister&Walsh: ‘Aizone’  here, Jessica Wash’s NYC Apartment here and ‘Story’ here.

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