Surprise is a feeling distinct from joy, and yet they so often come together. We can be surprised by the pop of a firecracker, the stripes of a new shop’s awning in the neighborhood, the particular size and shape of a “thank you” note amongst the junk mail. Joyful surprises help to break the monotony of routines and can prompt us to reexamine preconceived notions and stereotypes. We use this aesthetic when we wrap presents, line our drawers with colorful paper, or play with norms around the scale and proportions of the objects in our surroundings.

Play as process: the joyful wax sculptures of Helmut Smits

{the joy of} celebrating your quirks

The hidden surprise inside Norway’s new passports

Secret joys: colorful socks

Joyfully over-complicated

Color in the crevices

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