I've really missed Philadelphia since I finished my semester at University of the Arts back in December so I knew I wanted to visit at some point this summer since I'm just a two-hour bus ride away. When Pamela from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia told me that on Saturday, Stefan Sagmeister would be visiting his show that's currently up at the ICA, I thought this was the perfect excuse to take a day trip to Philly!
I was especially excited because I had gone to a talk that Stefan held at the ICA in December that was all about this show when it was still in development so I had already had a bit of a preview. I got to talk to him a bit back in December and had him sign one of his design books because I am such a fangirl. For those who don't know who Stefan Sagmeister is, he's kind of the... David Bowie of design? I guess I'll commit to that comparison. In this I mean that his designs explore such interesting alternatives to what people are used to and the results are always fabulous and often involve his penis. I own three of his books and constantly flip through them when I'm brainstorming or stuck on an idea.
He's never been shy in his work. Here's how he announced that he was renaming Sagmeister Inc. to Sagmeister & Walsh, adding the amazing design Jessica Walsh as a partner to the company:
That got your attention.
So anyways, I was thrilled to get the chance to see The Happy Show last Saturday! It opened in April and will be ending in August and I'd already been participating in ongoing happiness-related submissions that ICA was asking for online for the show. One was to tweet your favorite "happy word". The results were made into this little chart! (My happy word was Wiggle by the way).
The show is all about happiness: what instills it, how it can be measured, who has it and why.
Minji is happy to be at The Happy Show:
When you enter the main part of the show, there's a wall that invites you to press a button.
After you press it, a little card pops out and instructs you to do something that will probably make you a little bit happier. Here was the first one I got:
After exploring the gallery space, we kind of hung around Stefan Sagmeister, watching him answer people's questions and have small talk with excited fans. Next thing I know, I'm talking to him too! No big deal but at one point I made a joke and he laughed and touched my shoulder. Made for each other?
I feel so lucky I got to meet my favorite designer twice in the past year. Then & now:
The Happy Show certainly made for a happy Sio.