Happy Place


Happy Place reinterprets signposts as experiences to move visitors and locals both physically and emotionally across the city. Signposts equipped with interactive displays will reveal a small excursion, but just if the person in front of it looks happy.

A camera system will detect the user’s expression in front of the signpost. When they smile a text will slowly start to appear in the sign led display, showing the full content if the user smiles for long enough and starting to disappear again if the user stops smiling.

Drawing from research that suggests that smiling is actually effective in improving mood, and with the possibility to engage community in gathering interesting facts related to locations around the city, Happy Place wants to give new life and meaning to street signs in the digital age, not only encouraging happier demeanors but also bringing people together in a playful and engaging way.

4 thoughts on “Happy Place

  1. Fantastic! As you mentioned smiling improves people’s mood effectively. But, what about people who are far from the camera? How can they read the signs? is there any determined distance for detecting the user’s expression?

  2. Hi Arza, thanks for the question!

    Yes, the user would need to be close to the sign for interacting with it. But the sign is meant to be an alternative to the many existing ways to get directions (Google Maps, GPS car navigator, other street signs…), not the main one.

    Happy Place does not aim to provide the best way for getting from A to B, but rather for those times in which you are willing to approach navigation in the city in a more playful and relaxed way!

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      You’re right, people would not normally smile when looking at a map, and general really few people smile when moving around in the city.

      With Happy Place we wanted to play around with that! The only way to use the sign is to cheer up and be up for a playful exploration of the city.

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