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May 07, 2024 • 9 min read

The 3 Secret Paths to Finding Joy

Discover how joyful designs can transform your workspace into a source of happiness, boosting creativity and well-being.

Written by: Stephen Zeng

“Where does joy comes from?”

Ingrid Fetell Lee’s ten-year exploration launched from a revelation during her first-year review at design school. Amidst an array of creations, she was surprised and intrigued when a professor mentioned that her work evoked feelings of joy.

1. Finding Joys in Everyday Objects

Lee discovered the connection between physical objects and the mysterious emotion of joy, leading to an unexpected but profound realisation—joy isn’t merely an abstract concept; it’s a tangible force that impacts our lives.

These moments—ice cream cones with sprinkles, cherry blossoms, bubbles—transcend cultural boundaries, evoking joy universally. These shared experiences create a sense of hope, reminding us of our shared humanity.

2. Joy Deficit in Everyday Environments

Lee noted a discrepancy between the joyful moments people seek and the environments they inhabit daily.

Workspaces, schools, and public areas often lack these elements of joy, fostering mundane, uninspiring atmospheres. Yet, research and examples showcased the transformative power of joyful aesthetics.

Hospitals adorned with vibrant floral curtains, painted schools, and workplaces with colourful offices showcased increased alertness and positivity among occupants.

3. The Evolutionary Importance of Joyful Environments

“Designs with curves and vibrant colours not only provide security but also radiate joy and comfort, in contrast to angular ones that evoke fear and anxiety.”

Lee’s discoveries highlighted that joy isn’t frivolous; its integral to our survival instincts, deeply rooted in our evolution. The use of colours and shapes can evoke emotions tied to our primal instincts, influencing how we perceive our surroundings.

In essence, Lee emphasised that, instead of fixating on happiness, embracing each moment of joy, though seemingly small, significantly contributes to our overall well-being.

By intentionally infusing joy into our workplaces and everyday spaces, we tap into a fundamental instinct that elevates our human experience, fostering vibrant and fulfilling lives.


#joy #inspiration #worklife #workspaces #workenvironment #wellbeing

*The details in this article were correct and current when it was written. However, changes in business practices, policies, and other pertinent areas may have occurred since then. Readers should confirm the current validity of the content on their own.

Stephen Zeng
Stephen is the director and the principal writer at AusRehab, leading workplace rehabilitation provider, with a focus on addressing and resolving workplace injuries.

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