The Happiness Machine

Do you remember Mark Lascelles Thornton and his amazing project “The Happiness Machine?”

It is finally complete and Mark wanted to share this news with the rOtring community.

“[I created] the ‘Happiness Machine’ by collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures forming an imaginary metropolis, which changes the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value – that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re-establishment of Architecture as a social art, as a means of making society and everyday life visible.

By viewing this picture, we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product for consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of the citizen’s memories that flow in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to being the society.

Cities. Do we need a user manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?

Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space... you name it, it has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the ‘Happiness Machine’ project lies the murmuring voice of society asking whether their city still exists as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.” Maria Sfyraki (Architect/Urban Planner)