Former Design Director, IDEO, and Founder, “The Aesthetics of Joy”
Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness
Have you ever wondered why we stop to watch the orange glow that arrives before sunset, or why we flock to see cherry blossoms bloom in spring? Is there a reason that people — regardless of gender, age, culture, or ethnicity — are mesmerized by baby animals, and can’t help but smile when they see a burst of confetti or a cluster of colorful balloons.
We are often made to feel that the physical world has little or no impact on our inner joy. Increasingly, experts urge us to find balance and calm by looking inward — through mindfulness or meditation — and muting the outside world. But what if the natural vibrancy of our surroundings is actually our most renewable and easily accessible source of joy?
In Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, designer and TED star Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive, while another fosters acceptance and delight — and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.
Ms. Fetell Lee is a designer and the founder of the blog “The Aesthetics of Joy.” She has been featured as an expert on design and joy by outlets such as The New York Times, Wired, PRI‘s Studio 360, CBC‘s Spark, and Fast Company, and her 2018 TED talk received a standing ovation. She was formerly Design Director at global innovation firm IDEO, and a founding faculty member in the Products of Design program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She holds a Master’s in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor’s in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University.