Within the Happiness Project we developed tools to get more grip on our needs to transfer the Design for Happiness© theory in a more tangible format. 

After several succesful Design for Happiness workshops with Philips, Municipality of Almere, the Dutch Tax Office, the Houtbewerkingscollege and our own colleagues, where we developed new productideas based on our needs, we decided to start a project to find out if we can develop tools that support us to gain more insight in our needs. 

Design for Happiness

Happiness as starting point of the design process is the basic principle of Design for Happiness. The theory is based on enduring happiness, which in contrary to passing happiness (flow) covers all aspects in our life, on the long term. The interesting thing for a designer is that these aspects are similar to our universal human concerns. When these concerns are not met, we will develop a need. A designer can design for happiness by understanding those human concerns since our happiness reflects the degree in which our needs are fullfilled. The Design for Happiness framework that was developed by Marise Schot during her graduation project in 2008 helps in identifying these needs. 

Happiness Project

In the Happiness Project we take the theory one step further, we want to find out how we can get more grip on our needs. The project’s objectives are:

  • how can we measure our needs in a way that makes us happy?
  • how can we enable people to take a moment to reflect upon their needs?
  • and how to develop for the needs of a community instead of one person?

Design for Community wellbeing

Interaction Designer Hester van Zuthem developed during her graduation in 2014 a theory to Design for Community Wellbeing by approaching the community as one entity. This resulted in a framework of community needs.

Her research was executed with and for the Stadsdorp Nieuwmarkt. The Stadsdorp’s main objective is to create locally a strong social network. ‘Stadsdorp Story’ was developed by Hester in co-creation sessions with the people from the Stadsdorp, this product should test her theoretical model. Stadsdorp Story aims to connect Stadsdorp Nieuwmarkt inhabitants by making visible what everybody ‘brings’ to the neighbourhood. The supplied labels can be attached to something that they have added to the Nieuwmarkt area. The stories can also be found online on a map of the area. In this way a lively story will start growing. The goal is to make people enjoy what is brought by others and hopefully to inspire them to ‘bring’ something as well.

Project duration

1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2014



  • Design for happiness
  • Stadsdorp Nieuwmarkt


  • Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie