Happiness, daily life and material culture

The Happiness Program is a cross-cultural research program designed around the subject of Happiness. Specifically, the study focuses on material culture related to the concept of happiness, in different generational groups, through an analysis of stories from their everyday lives, photographs, descriptions and experiences that represent specific variations of happy occasions for them. The first phase of this program was carried out in 2003, in 8 European countries: Spain, France, UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and Russia, and was then extended to other countries such as Brazil and Colombia.

The research is performed by integrating qualitative techniques with methodologies that start from introspective analysis, and through use of personal diaries (a key tool for collecting personal information, feelings, daily experiences of individuals, over the course of a few weeks) it becomes possible to bring their large and small moments of happiness to the forefront. Occasions ranging from moments associated with affection and sharing, to personal satisfaction and relaxation time for themselves. From the purchase of a favorite product or specific gadget, to fun moments in their daily routine. Each event is described in words and is accompanied by a series of photographs, describing directly the subject of happiness in question. Each diary is followed by an ad-hoc interview, exploring the issues raised in more depth. The Happiness Program contains cultural, social and life profiles related to the interviewees, as well as the stories of everyday happiness.

The result is a report that contains several thousand stories of daily happiness, achieved by navigating within the “Matrix of Happiness.” The matrix is a research tool that provides access to sentences and selected photos from the journals from each country, and contains an analysis of these materials by Future Concept Lab researchers, who have identifed the most important Happiness Trends and classified them by thematic area, for example: Domesticity, Body Care, Leisure and Consumption, Territoriality, and Nature.
A few of the companies who have used the Happiness Program include: D&D, LG Electronics, Meltin’Pot, RCS Media Group, Nokia, Sportswear International, Swarovski, Volkswagen, Wella, and Whirlpool.