Technology of Happiness

This year the 2010 Shanghai World Expo has attracted as many as 500,000 visitors per day, with pavilions representing 195 countries.  All are working on the theme of “‘Better City, Better Life’ representing the common wish of the whole humankind for a better living in future urban environments.”

One pavilion that has attracted the most attention this year is Latvia, who took the “Better City, Better Life” theme to new heights.  Their “Technology of Happiness” is a three-story structure wrapped in 100,000 colorful transparent plastic squares that houses a vertical wind tunnel that shoots people into the air with, wait for it, happiness!

Equally impressive is the branding/identity system that was created just for this three-month project.  It’s so vibrant and colorful yet surprisingly simple.  Their website explains their concept very simply — basically they transformed themselves from a generic “black box” into an inspiring feel-good icon set.

In the marketing industry it seems that everyone wants to transform themselves from a generic “black box” to something more interesting.  But I think the reason it worked out so well for Latvia here is that they were inspired by their cultural heritage and the patterns of woven garments.  Plus, it was something they really believed in and were inspired by.

Gail Rankin


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