These videos are part of the speculative design project 'Smile, The Fiction Has Already Begun'.
Why do we value happiness so much more than other emotions? The pursuit of happiness is accepted as a good thing almost without question. Happiness, however, is no longer just the desire of the individual, but of governments and legislative bodies.
Following the UN Resolution 65/309 in 2011, which encouraged all member states to measure happiness, countries are now ranked according to the happiness of their citizens; Happiness is starting to be positioned as a better measure of a nations success than GDP.
This project aims to question the motivations behind this global legislative trend of focusing on happiness. Although as individuals we may each wish to be happy, when our emotions become an indicator of government ’success’, where might this attempted control over our emotions end, and at what price?
The Projected Future:
In order to climb up the Happiness rankings from the 2014 position of number 22, the UK Government targets one of its least happy cities, Blackburn, and implements a number of proposals to increase happiness (one of which is changing its name from Blackburn to Yellowburn as black is the colour of insecurity and fear, whereas yellow is the colour of happy, sun and fun).
* The videos are exhibited alongside a model of a tail-wagging cat and a document outlining the investment proposals in Yellowburn.