Our Happy Life: Architecture and Well-Being in the Age of Emotional Capitalism

Publication, August 2019

How do we design our cities when our most intimate experiences are incessantly tracked and our feelings become the base of new modes of production that prioritize the immaterial over the material? Since the 2008 financial crisis, lists of well-being indicators, happy indexes, and quality-of-life rankings have become viral. Concurrently, the emotional data presented in these surveys—including perceptions on questions such as loneliness, friendship, and intimate fears—feed an expanding political agenda of happiness and a new form of market whose most decisive asset is “affect.”

Our Happy Life investigates the architectural implications of this trend by dissecting and questioning the political, economic, and emotional conditions that generate space today. Organized as a visual narrative with critical readings by William Davies, Daniel Fujiwara, Simon Fujiwara, Ingo Niermann, Deane Simpson, and Mirko Zardini, the book reveals architecture, city, and landscape as contested surfaces, caught between the intangible guidelines of happy indexes, the new marketplace of emotions, and the relentless ideology of positivity.

Edited by Francesco Garutti
Graphic design by Laurenz Brunner, Geoff Han

Co-published with Sternberg Press
Softcover, 326 pages

Book preview

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