Redesign Challenge: Bring Joy to Mondays

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Can design bring joy to the most frustrating, annoying moments of daily life? We asked you to tell us what terrible thing, place, or experience you wanted us to transform into something joyful. We heard about airport security lines, winter weather, taxes, and the daily commute. Redesigning America’s transportation systems might be a little ambitious, so our design partners focused on one aspect of the problem. “Nothing seems quite as painful as that Monday morning commute,” says Ingrid Fetell, a design director at IDEO and the author of the blog “Aesthetics of Joy.” “Why do people say things like, ‘I have a case of the Mondays’? Why is Monday in general so joyless?”

Over the next several weeks, Fetell and her team will work on a design to bring joy to Mondays. That’s welcome news for Dorothy Weiss of Alexandria, Virginia, who wrote us, “Does anything say ‘joyless’ more than [the elevator] trip up to work on a Monday morning?”

Weiss herself, though, is self-employed, “in part because I just couldn’t stand those Monday mornings anymore,” she tells Kurt Andersen. “I hope that I can help save Mondays for everybody else. That would be terrific.”

Music Playlist

  1. Manic Monday

    Artist: The Bangles
    Album: Greatest Hits
    Label: Columbia
  2. Hike The Lake

    Artist: Marco Mahler
    Album: Design In Quick Rotation
    Label: Marco Mahler