Saskatchewan Centre Creates “Joy” Exhibition

By Ben Hamill - June 17, 2019
Saskatchewan Centre Creates Joy Exhibition

It’s a modern-day dilemma that would not have been understood by our ancestors. If a selfie isn’t part of an event, did that event actually happen? We have grown (some would take issue with this particular term) into a people constantly seeking vindication and justification on social media and photo sharing platforms like Facebook and Instagram. And what better way to achieve maximum exposure than the posting of a selfie.

A Saskatchewan Science Centre is interested in our preoccupation with selfies and in order to probe the psychology behind the phenomena, the centre has launched an interesting project; or social experiment, if you will. Exhibit JoyLab wants to establish two clear goals. Firstly, to spark feelings of joy in people by making use of specific design elements, and secondly, to examine the social phenomena of “selfie museums”.

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Selfie Or Setting?

The concept of the selfie museum isn’t new. It’s a phenomenon that is popping up all over the show and all over the world. The museums prompt attendees to take photos of themselves in various settings. But what the Regina Science Centre in Saskatchewan hopes to establish is whether people derive joy from the actual surrounding in which the selfie is taken, or from the act of taking the selfie itself.

CEO Sandy Baumgartner explains that the reasoning behind the initiative is to motivate people to think about what it is that makes them feel joyful. The CEO said that her hope is that the exhibition will not only inspire joy, but also have meaningful value and be inspired by Science.

Joy Is Found In Simplicity

The exhibition is based on a book that was authored by the designer Ingrid Fetell Lee, “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness”. Lee wanted to examine the science behind the feeling and the experience of joy. As a result of her studies she came to the conclusion that some design elements inspired more joy and happiness than some others. Round shapes, some layers and an abundance of items, says Lee, appears to inspire joy more than many other design elements.

Lee also said that was exiting to learn of the fact that the Science Centre had made use of some of her findings in their own experiment and exhibition.  Her hope, said Lee, was that people would become more mindful of what exactly it was that brought joy to their lives, instead of for example, feelings of anxiousness.

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