The Happiness Cube

The Happiness Cube is my graduation project and it is a time based installation in (re)search for happiness through video, sound, light and smell. A 2m X 2m X2m cube was constructed in which the participants had to enter after filling in a questionnaire. A video was created based on IAPS pictures and IADS sounds -where applicable- that were rated high in valence and arousal. I decided to build my own smell emitting device by hacking airfresheners, connect them to an Arduino board and program them in order to fire lavender in the beginning and then chocolate and vanilla odors. Multicolor LED lights were programmed to switch from different tones of green to different tones blue every 2 minutes. Moreover people’s physiological reactions were also monitored by a heart rate sensor, a Galvanic Skin Response sensor (measuring how much your fingers are sweating) that I built , by biofeedback squares that change color according to your skin temperature and by a camera that was monitoring facial reactions. The Happiness Cube was presented at the 4th International Workshop “Emotion and Computing: Current Research and Future Impact” in September 2009 in Paderborn, Germany and at Witte de With, Museum of Contemporary Art, in Rotterdam in January 2010.


1. Giannoulis, S., Verbeek, F.J. (2009) The happiness cube paradigm; eliciting happiness through sound, video, light and odor. Assessment of affective state with non-invasive techniques. In: 4th International Workshop on Emotion and Computing, in conj. with 32nd Annual Conference on Artificial Intelligence (KI2009), Paderborn, Germany.(PDF)