Joy on the radio

By Ingrid Fetell Lee

I’m a little slow in getting this up here, but last week I spent some time chatting with Nora Young, the host of CBC’s Spark, about Aesthetics of Joy. This week’s show is about rebooting your work, and also includes interviews with Jason Fried and Guy Kawasaki. I talked about some of the fundamental ideas behind Aesthetics of Joy, as well as variety of applications. Nora asked me a great question I’d never been asked before: How would you design a joyful radio show?

The episode aired on Sunday and airs again today at 2:05 ET on CBC Radio One. You can also listen here. My segment runs about nine minutes.

This was a really fun one. Many thanks to Nora and everyone at Spark for having me on the show!


April 27th, 2011


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    Discussion (6 Comments)

  1. Thais on April 27, 2011

    I heard you on the radio today talking to Nora and that was a lot of joy. I could never express myself like that about what joy is and how to bring joy in a room. so, thank you for doing that for the rest of us. =) your blog has some cool pictures. (sorry, I prefer pics than words) the one that caught me was the snow falling. Never thought that would bring me joy – but it does! it does bring me joy to see snow flakes going everywhere!
    I thought I would never say something like this. I’m Brazilian for almost 30 years and canadian for 10.
    so – thank you!
    keep up your good work!


    1. Ingrid on May 1, 2011

      Thank you, Thais. Your kind words are much appreciated!

  2. Kelly, Arte Styling on April 28, 2011

    Really great interview. I adore your message and couldn’t agree with you more. As an interior designer, I try to help others find joy in their own homes through authenticity and bravery. I think your points about surprise and anticipation are very true, and I’m going to be pondering these ideas more now. Thank you!

  3. Johnny Rodgers on April 30, 2011

    Great interview, Ingrid! I really liked the Radiohead 15 Step reference. I remember hearing that for the first time and it felt so spontaneous and surprising in the middle of a rock song. Nice to hear you on Canadian radio 🙂

    1. Ingrid on May 1, 2011

      Thanks, Johnny! Nice to hear from you. Hope all’s going well with your work.

  4. Sarah murdoch on May 7, 2011

    Hi Ingrid!
    I just wanted to let you know that I have been gushing about your work all over Calgary. I heard your interview on CBC and was enthralled with your message- I’ve just started listening to CBC radio and cannot believe it’s taken me so long to realize how amazing it is.
    Anyways, no sooner had I listened to your interview than I experienced the aesthetics of joy firsthand and I’ve been smiling ever since. Here’s the story.
    I teach photography as an artist in residence and am currently on contract with a fine arts based public school in a Calgary north east community. As I walked up to my intended classroom I noticed two things. The room was empty still and a rainbow of colored crepe paper streamers had been taped over the door. I didn’t think too much about it as I walked through the colorful curtain until the children started making their way through the door. All of a sudden the door space became a unique and joyful Experience. It wasn’t just a means to an end, it was colorful happy tactile. Watching the children walk through the door, being respectful of the delicate crepe paper, yet still opening their arms and letting them flow over their arms, was such a cool moment, especially after feeling so inspired by your previous interview. Something that resonated With me was your research about finding what people’s expectations are and then slightly changing the experience, creating joy. I watched this firsthand. I told your story to the teacher of the classroom and it was then that she told me the streamers weren’t her creation or idea. The other grade one teachers had surprised her with the rainbow curtain as a way to boost her spirits during a particularly rough few days in her personal life. Her face brightened as she told me this and how the curtain had greeted her as she opened her door. So thank you Ingrid, for your continued research and showing the world that simple acts can create happiness.


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