Stefan Sagmeister & The Happy Film
While most people may know the work of Stefan Sagmeister, an Austrian designer, from the album covers he’s designed for the Rolling Stones, the Talking Heads, Jay-Z, and more, he has done so much more for the design industry. AIGA says that he has “unorthodox, provocative designs that tweak the status quo and question the designer’s role in society”. He has gained great respect from many designers around the world, including us, because of his “visually exciting, boundary-pushing, multidisciplinary work [that] has had [a great impact] on the world well beyond design”.
Last year “The Happy Film”, his documentary, was released. The documentary, which took seven years to film, “began as an attempt to find a design solution to a pressing problem: Sagmeister was at his creative peak, but he wasn’t very happy”. The idea for his film came from a few simple questions he had: “Can he redesign his personality to become a better person? Is it possible to train his mind to get happier?” In the film, he approaches his life as a design problem as he throws himself into three experiments, each lasting three months. The controlled experiments each center around one topic: meditation, therapy, and drugs, respectively. In each experiment, he tracked his progress and calculated “his happiness number based on a rigid system he’d devised to measure his emotional well-being”. He figured then after all three experiments he’d be able to see which made him happiest. And while he had the best laid plans, they went awry.
Making his life into design experiments all captured in the documentary make the film a very personal journey of self-discovery. It is a great look into the mastermind the thought process and creativity behind all of Stefan’s work.
Watch the trailer below:
We are inspired by Stefan Sagmeister’s work, and this documentary is just a new medium of his work for everyone to admire and enjoy. The Happy Film is available for streaming on iTunes and Amazon Prime.
Sources: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/there-are-lessons-to-be-learned-from-stefan-sagmeisters-happy-film-but-theyre-not-what-you-expect/, http://www.aiga.org/medalist-stefan-sagmeister, http://www.thehappyfilm.org/about/