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Zoë Hough

MA work

Smile, The Fiction Has Already Begun

Why do we value happiness so much more than other emotions?

The pursuit of happiness is accepted as a good thing almost without question. Happiness, however, is no longer just the desire of the individual, but of governments and legislative bodies. 

Following the UN Resolution 65/309 in 2011, which encouraged all member states to measure happiness, countries are now ranked according to the happiness of their citizens; Happiness is starting to be positioned as a better measure of a nations success than GDP. 

This project aims to question the motivations behind this global legislative trend of focusing on happiness, which in its essence is immeasurable. 

Although as individuals we may each wish to be happy, when our emotions become an indicator of government ’success’, where might this attempted control over our emotions end, and at what price? 


  • Zoe Hough portrait
  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Design Interactions, 2014

  • I find my questions (and things which may resemble answers) by feeling first, and thinking second. My interests lie in my experience of this world and your experience of it. We don't necessarily need to talk about it (is talking the best method of communication we can manage?), but we can if you would like...

  • Degrees

  • MA Economics & Management, University of St Andrews, 2001