Community, Research

MDR, Balloons, Exuberance

MONSTER DRAWING RALLY PHOTOS & VIDEO. Check out this slideshow of the Monster Drawing Rally by Hanna Quevedo on! There’s also a short video on


BALLOONS. Thinking about them lately, and came across this awesome photo sequence of a sculpture made of balloons by Hans Hemmert on Sweet.


IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE. This economics term, coined by Alan Greenspan, shook markets worldwide in the 1990s. What a paradox. I’ve been thinking about pleasure and its crucial role in the formation of happiness since I started studying positive psychology last year. I’ve also been using unabashedly exuberant typefaces, especially high-contrast Didot faces, despised in their day and seen as both high-class and slightly cheap today. The idea that exuberance is irrational to be equally ludicrous as the idea of exuberance should be rational. It’s a delicious paradox.

Art & Development

Getting Excited and Making Things, Part 2

Marketers have been selling “experiences”* for several years now, so it’s cute to read about American consumers turning to free or low-cost experiences. It’s clearly due to the recession, though perhaps popular psychology has made some inroads into mainstream culture as well:

Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. … Psychologists have been saying for years that shared experiences like vacations lead to more long-term happiness than the latest bauble.

Damian Cave, “Americans Doing More, Buying Less, a Poll Finds,”, January 2, 2010

[*Here’s an example of “experience” marketing gone bad: my head nearly exploded a few days ago, when I sat down at a P.F. Chang’s and our server demonstrated mixing a special sauce out of three condiments, including Chinese mustard. Yuck. That’s like making Thousand Island dressing out of ketchup, mayo and relish, only worse because the diners get a whiff of ethnic experience, and it’s being repeated thousands of times over in franchises around the country. It offended me, and probably would have offended my family.]