Stefan Sagmeister: How happy are you?

In this interview designer Stefan Sagmeister talks about doing work that is worthwhile, taking time off and experiencing the ups and downs of designing.

Happiness. It is probably the one thing that we all want, yet it seems to be illusive and often ephemeral. In pursuit of a better understanding of the nature of happiness, designer Stefan Sagmeister known for his rock 'n roll collaborations and typographic work, decided to engage in a series of self-experiments. These experiments form the basis for his passion project The Happy Film

The project came about when a colleague challenged Sagmeister to do something that was 'more worthwhile' during his sabbatical taken every seven years. 

"It occurred to me that I should heed his advice and took some time off from taking time off. And thought about what it could be that would be interesting for me and possible beneficial for a viewer and that is where the idea for the film came about.”  

When I thought about why I actually get out of bed in the morning or why I do the things that I do, the very end results of what I am doing or the reasons why I am doing it, seem to be connected to well being or happiness. And I though maybe it would be worthwhile seeing if happiness could be pursued more directly, he says. 

He concludes: “I did not want to make a film where it is 15 experts telling me what happiness is. The hope is when we ever finish the film that it would be a very personal film that tracks my little journey through these experiments.”