Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show

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Sagmeister Actually Doing Things I Set Out to Do Increases My Overall Level of Satisfaction

Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister not only tests the boundaries between art and design, he often transgresses it through his imaginative implementation of typography. Filling the fourth-floor galleries and activating the in-between spaces of the Chicago Cultural Center, The Happy Show offers visitors the experience of walking into the designer's mind as he attempts to Sagmeister Gumball Personal Happiness Survey - Happiness Infographics Wallincrease his happiness via meditation, cognitive therapy and mood-altering pharmaceuticals. "I am usually rather bored with definitions," Sagmeister says. "Happiness, however, is just such a big subject that it might be worth a try to pin it down." Centered around the designer's ten-year exploration of happiness, this exhibition presents typographic investigations of a series of maxims, or rules to live by, originally culled from Sagmeister's diary, manifested in a variety of imaginative and interactive forms.

To contextualize the maxims that appear throughout the exhibition, Sagmeister has gathered the social data of Harvard psychologists Daniel Gilbert and Steven Pinker, psychologist Jonathan Haidt, anthropologist Donald Symons, and several prominent historians. A 12-minute segment of the Happy Film, a feature length exploration of whether it is possible to train the mind the way we train the body, will also be on view.


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  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show at the Chicago Cultural Center
  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show
  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show
  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show
  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show
  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show
  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show
  • Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show


July 13 - September 23, 2013





Exhibit: March 23 - June 16, 2013

Lecture: Thursday, April 25; Gallery Talks: Thursday, April 18 & Thursday, May 16





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Chicago Cultural Center, Exhibition Hall & Yates Gallery, 4th Floor
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602








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