Fall 2010-April 2011
Personal project
My role: concept, 2d & interactive design, writing movie script, video editing

Find more on art center thesis website 

Are you happy? Answer carefully. Your answer may mean a lot more than you can possibly imagine.

In a contemporary world, happiness is more than individuals’ positive emotional states. Based on research, it is a factor that influences one’s health, success, creativity, and relationships with others. It is also an emerging socio-economic indicator reflecting a country’s performance such as GNH(Gross National Happiness) or HPI(Happiness Planet Index). In the field of psychology, it has become the hot topic for study. Additionally, happiness serves as a selling point for numerous products, and a motivational force for new technological inventions.What kinds of technological inventions and social interventions may arise to accompany this increased emphasis on happiness? What are the side effects of this seemingly harmless pursuit? LA Happiness Initiative explores these questions by conjuring up a hypothetical city campaign promoting happiness. By giving monetary incentives and respect to happy people, and by monitoring people’s expressions in public spaces, this society provides more motivations and reasons for happiness. Within this society, happiness is not only something good to have but something required to thrive emotionally, socially, and economically. By depicting people who struggle to disguise themselves as happy and acquire happiness through various technological means, this project speculates that our overemphasis on happiness may alter our self-conceptions, behaviors, and relationships with others.

LA Happiness Initiative (Short film)

From a woman who uses a happy filter in order to maintain the happy face to a young man who has become too satisfied with his life after getting a gene therapy, this short film provides different vignettes of individuals who struggle to survive or thrive within a society that selectively praise happiness. 

Plateau of Happiness

Plateau of Happiness is a map filled with myriads of organizations and services to induce, insure, and incentivize one’s happiness. The intent of this map is to engage viewers and invite them to explore. Within this space, viewers are allowed to respond to these services in the way they feel and think. Below are some examples of elements shown in the map.

Early explorations

Smile Surgery
Duchenne smile surgery allows people to always make a genuine smile by inserting an artificial muscle that connects the zygomatic major muscle and the orbicularis oculi muscle. As a result, an upward movement of the mouth automatically creates crow’s feet around the eyes. Does this sound too bizarre and unlikely to happen? Well, the idea of cosmetic surgery, which is so common these days, was considered too strange until the 1950s. Find more