By Yuko Aoki
As a graduate student, I want to research happiness in a single family house for my thesis. Happiness is a word which describes a person’s emotional state and/or feeling. Feeling happy is the state most humans want to keep holding. A house is the place where most people start days and end days. I thought it would be good to think about and carry out research about how a house can provide happiness to people.
Happiness all depends on a person. Some people think that it is happy to bake cake in their kitchen, to have parties at their house, and/or just to be with and have a fun time with their own families. A house is only a container to live life. However, if the house is not sufficient enough for the people who live in it, they will not feel their happiness even though a happy event might take place there.
Then what kind of elements or functions does a house need to have? According to the “Happy Planet Index”, the components of happiness are life expectancy, life satisfaction, and ecological footprint. I made a list of functions which will fulfill the three elements of happiness in a housing design.
1. Life Expectancy
- Natural lighting
- Indoor air quality
- Age friendliness
2. Life satisfaction
- Community interaction
- Family gathering
- Physical environment
- Size of a house
- Spaces in a house (spatial programing)
3. Ecological footprint
- Artificial lighting
- Sustainable features
- Natural environment/ garden area
There are probably more features to add to this list. This is just a starting point of what can be done to make a happy house. Now, I am conducting a survey to find out what people think about their current houses and how their house can give them happiness. I have not sent the questions out to the public but I hope I will collect more than enough answers.
Image from http://www.astlefarmeast.co.uk/families%20welcome.htm
Reference: Happy planet index www.happyplanetindex.org