Positive which is focused on one’s personal goals and

Positive Design

The philosophy of the Positive Design
(Desmet, 2012)  approach perfectly fits
into the notion of impacting people’s quality of life through the design of
their residences. Positive Design believes that design should enable,
facilitate, or represent meaningful experiences (Desmet, 2011; Pohlmeyer,
2012). Meaning that it is not so much about the materialistic value, but its
experiential value which is sustainable, both emotionally and environmentally. Positive
Design studies the mechanism and manifestations of design that stimulates human
flourishing. (Pohlmeyer, 2017). It is an interdisciplinary emerging subfield
of Positive Psychology that promises to contribute to Seligmanís vision: that
by 2051, 51% of the worldís population will be flourishing (Seligman, 2011).  Positive Design, or design for happiness,
draws from research on Positive Psychology. It aims to design positive,

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and engaging experiences, focusing on
individual well-being and on opportunities for improvement. In addition, it
aims to have a long lasting and holistic impact. Residential
design for SWB implies designing a space that supports users by acting on their
abilities and skills (Stevens et. al, 
Also personality is a dynamic variable that needs to be taken into
account when designing for SWB. 


The Positive Design Framework

This framework proposes that there are
three components to be addressed when designing for SWB, namely: Design for
Pleasure, which focuses on enabling enjoyment on the here and now in the form
of positive feelings; Design for Personal Significance, which is focused on one’s
personal goals and aspirations that comes in the form of awareness of past
achievements or from a sense of progress towards a future goal and Design for
Virtue; which addresses that there is an ideal mode of behaviour (expectation)
to which one should strive, and thereby leading to a virtuous life. Design can
wake us up when our thoughts are automatic mode by altering the environment in
order to provoke people be more reflective and self conscious when striving for
behavioural changes. Placing a bowl of fruit in the kitchen or even at your
desk, for example, when trying to eat healthier snacks. According to Peterson and
Seligman (2004), six core virtues can be identified across cultures: wisdom
& knowledge, courage, love & humanity, justice, temperance and
spirituality and transcendence.


These three components, when in
balance, result in design for human flourishing. In other words, Positive
Design does not need to address all components to the same degree as long as
they have all three been taken into account. The framework represent an
approach to design for human flourishing which means being the best person one
can be (Ryan & Deci, 2001).