Summary of Where Joy Hides and How to Find It

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Where Joy Hides and How to Find It summary
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  • Innovative
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explains how she became the “Nancy Drew of joy.” Having sleuthed out the link between tangible objects and the intangible emotion of joy, Fetell Lee shares her findings in this eloquent, uplifting talk. She advocates for the “aesthetics of joy” – design that inspires joy through color, shape, and more. getAbstract recommends this talk to designers, researchers, innovators, artists and all who seek joy in their everyday lives.

About the Speaker

Ingrid Fetell Lee is a designer and the author of the book Joyful and the blog The Aesthetics of Joy



“Your work gives me a feeling of joy.” This was the professorial feedback Ingrid Fetell Lee received as a first-year design student. Fetell Lee was initially perplexed. Joy seemed insubstantial. However, the idea that physical objects can spark intangible joy intrigued her – so much so that she spent the next decade researching the linkage. Psychologists describe joy as a strong, fleeting, positive emotion scientifically measurable by the urge to jump up and down. By contrast, happiness is feeling good over time. Ask people to describe their sources of joy, and several patterns emerge, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity: Bubbles, rainbows, hot air balloons and sprinkle-topped ice cream cones brighten people’s days. Such commonalities are reassuring in a time of political and cultural divide...

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