Which products make you happy?

Welcome, reader! You have either discovered this blog in its very early hours, or you have browsed back in time through all the posts until you arrived at this: the very first post on this blog. Both ways, congratulations! I hope you will enjoy reading about my graduation project on Design for Happiness.

To start off, I am looking for products that contribute to people’s happiness. I can imagine that everyone has a product which they love to use, or look at. For me personally it’s my old Ovation acoustic guitar. I received it from my dad as a gift for finishing high-school. It’s a second-hand guitar with some cracks in it, it’s a bit vintage (1979) and it sounds great! I believe that it specifically makes me happy because it helps me to develop my skills as a guitarist, and enables me to experience flow*.

My Ovation acoustic guitar

My Ovation acoustic guitar

What products make you especially happy, and why? If you want to, please post a picture of your product and a reason why it contributes to your happiness. And don’t shy away if a cheese-grater or other less obvious product really makes you happy. I’m interested in your personal opinion.

* Flow is a state of mind where your skills are exactly matched with the challenge you pursue. For a quick explanation of the concept, visit this page.

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5 responses to “Which products make you happy?

  1. Bonjour Hans,

    This graduation sounds very interesting. And I understand this flow you are talking about. It is you, the product and the “something else”. At the moment I can’t really think of a product that reminds me of a flow. I can think of my book and music collection that often bring me into a flow, where I lose track of time and place. They both remind as well of these states.

    There is an interesting talk on TED about succes. It is the following: Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success (2009). There he discusses the materialistic idea of succes. Where he believes it is also a part of comforting your effort and time you sacrificed to get something done. A reminder of succes. Which in a way brings you happiness. So what can a story bring to a product to give you the “flow”.

    I will visit again!

  2. Hi,

    This looks like a very interesting blog I will definitely follow! A product that does not make me happy is my alarm clock, yet I did go to the shop a couple of weeks ago to buy a new one, and I am happy I have one I can trust now, hmmm,

    keep the posts coming!

  3. Ok this is one that makes me happy, check the link. It is a “op klap taffeltje”, I use it when I want to eat outside. It makes me happy because everytime I use it, I am glad I have one. And I also remember the good deal I got on buying it (5 euro) !

    http://www.pietervalkenburg.nl/resize.asp?path=d:%5Cwww%5Cpietervalkenburg.nl%5Cwww%5Cmme%5Cupload%5Cparty-verhuur_67.jpg&width=400

  4. More and more products give me an unhappy feeling or even drive me mad!
    But some products are my friends.
    For instance my wheelbarrow. It helps me in the garden, together we get moch more done (and in an easy way) than me alone. And it is very handy; I always get in a good mood when using it.

  5. I love your application of the term flow within the domain of product use. It is actually very commonly used in the field of game design. I used it in my graduation project on designing experiences. If I can help you with any references, just let me know. Best of luck with your project, it sounds great. I wonder what your thoughts are on the relationship between your subject and materialism (both in its positive and negative connotation).

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