I’m not sure I’ve looked at this subject from the perspective of “joy” per se, but I’ve always wondered why many schools are so drab, or why so many doctor’s offices and corporate offices are so sterile and uninviting. Why don’t we always design for a more whole experience? I tell my daughter all the time that it takes just about the same amount of effort to design something well as it does poorly. Someone thought about that waiting room. Someone designed that ugly chair and someone bought it. Interior design seems to be applied more so in our homes, but even then, we often forget how space and flow can truly enhance our lives. This idea is partly why we do what we do as a small construction/design company: we want to make a better space for each client because we believe better spaces equal better lives.
Here’s a Ted Talk by Ingrid Fetell Lee where she looks at architecture and design as a way to create joy in the world.