Happiness Machines
Using speculation as a tool, Happiness Machines redefines private consuming practices and set a new imaginary scenery where individuality and commodification will correlate. It tells a story about a parallel world where humans are machine-readable and emotions that are controllable and exchangeable. Emotional sensitivity and dissatisfaction has raised and human emotions are under crisis.

What if technologic advances, permit to emotions to be commodified? How could emotions be stimulated? The speculation stays in this ‘envision’ of emotional states as marketable objects. Consumption, responding to the challenges of science and technology, is being led towards news paths, that aim directly to innermost sensations.

The ‘Happiness machines’ will allow to people to recognize and purchase emotions. The place of this reality is a site-less urban environment where humans and the machines will coexist under a trusted relationship (in the same way that we could consider our relationship with our phones and screens nowadays). The ability to read and alter emotions technologically results in a society obsessed with their emotional reactions. Emotions and convictions which remained hidden now become a common matter.

The machines are spread throughout the urban landscape and merged into existing buildings as parasites. Emotional experiences get new possibilities to be read, evaluated and altered. The space consists of two parts, the ‘intimate’ and the ‘public’. The former hosts the whole practice (based on future possibilities that technology could offer) ‘emotion-sensing’ algorithms combined with data from microphones, cameras, monitors etc. map out the human and determine his innermost emotions. After the mood analysis, various positive emotions can be stimulated. The public part projects the whole process in the public space, so for people passing by to be able to watch one’s experience. In the realm of speculating or making ‘prognostications’, the design anticipates to new possibilities of consuming experiences that would ground in deepest human aspects, seen from the perspective of both the consumer and the commodity itself.

June 2016