Student Media Body of IIT Kgp


Happiness Project: What Made Me

Posted on August 31, 2017

Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.

Jim Rohn

How do we make the choices? Our campus has seen some really unfortunate incidents in the last semester and it is/was all about the choices that someone is/was going to make. Psychologists reveal that the people in depression can’t figure out what makes them happy anymore. It becomes the responsibility of their friends, relatives and everybody else who can affect their lives positively. The students of the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning have come up with a unique idea of tackling this problem of choice making that is relatable to arguably each and every student of IIT Kharagpur.


The Project titled “Happiness Project: What Made Me” is one among the three submissions from IIT Kharagpur for the prestigious Annual NASA Design Competition(ANDC). The problem statement was “We often turn a blind eye to unused/disused public spaces around us. Can Schools of Architecture create a positive social impact on these derelict urban spaces, by redesigning alternative spaces to have a larger social impact and to rebuild and improve them with small interventions?” The rear wall of the department has been converted into an interaction space to create a vibrant community spirit and at the same time unearth the thoughts of the student community in general. A grid of 21X7 words (that are totally relatable to KGPians and affect their lives in some way or the other) has been created and one pin inserted beside each of them. Those words include places around the campus, departments, halls, occasions, societies and quite a few interesting words which influence normal KGP life and are talked about in every conversation. People are to connect those pins with threads of four different colours each symbolising different emotions. The colours are:

  1. Yellow, if it made you happy.
  2. Red, if it made you angry.
  3. Green, if it made you think.
  4. Blue, if it made you change.


The creativity of the students resonated with perfect execution of the idea with optimum use of the resources available inside the Campus. Remains of carpentry was used to fill drilled holes for nails, clay from the remains of foundry was used to cover the nails for their safe use, unused rusted nails were taken from carpentry workshop and old electrical casings (to be used for keeping the threads) from the renovation of computer lab.


The major takeaways from the projects are:

  1. Community participation: The enthusiasm around it has been increasing. The unused space has seen a turnaround in the last week and the left side of the wall was painted like a blackboard and left for the people to realise their creativity and chalk their ideas out on the blackboard to share with others.
  2. It shows factors in the campus and reveals what brings joy to the people, what is annoying to the people, what makes them think. In a nutshell, how the campus lifestyle has been shaped up here can be understood by visiting the colour patterns around those 147 keywords.
  3. It can be a platform for anonymous expression and contribution to some of the findings of the happiness index of KGPians.
  4. Freshers can get an idea what makes one happy, where to go, what to follow and what to avoid.


Most importantly the choices for happiness index and analysis of the data from the project are mention-worthy. Once the grid gets saturated, the data can be analysed using image processing. It is to be kept in mind that some threads may be passing beside a nail but may not be looping around it, which will signify that the word beneath that nail is not connected with thread of that colour and data for that nail should not include non-looping threads. The students have come up with an empirical formula to calculate the happiness index for a particular word considering the threads and their colours that are tied to the corresponding nail.The greater the happiness index, the larger the impact of the word on the population. On the other hand, lesser happiness index which corresponds to anger in the student community(As the number of red threads come in the denominator of the formula) denotes that things should change for better impact on the society.


The trends can be already visualised and we can have a look at some of the interesting facts about the life here.

1. Endsems: The anger among the students is pretty much easy to understand. As always, many decide to change their conduct in the very next semester and we all know how that promise goes. The one yellow thread is probably by a 10 pointer stud or someone was indeed very happy to be back at home after such a long time and could simply not forget the reunion with the family and friends.

2. Mining: Well, some misconceived the term ‘Change’ to be ‘Department Change’.

3. Treats: Treats are undoubtedly a great source of happiness. You get to enjoy with your batchies along with the seniors andgetting relief from the usual mess food adds to the amusement. Unfortunately, someone didn’t enjoy a treat much as may be the guy ended up giving a lot many treats or didn’t get his piece of cheese balls at flavours!

4. Crush: So all you need to turn yourself happy, get your mind into thinking some crazy stuff and bring about a change in you is a ‘Crush’. And after all we all know that ‘ektarfapyaarbhiek relationship hotihai’. However, the pattern reveals that it can even cause anger when thinks go wrong. Hold on! Did you notice the strong link between ‘crush’ and ‘mentor’?

5. Single: This is certainly a bizarre outcome of the project. A good news for the student fraternity is that being single is, though sometimes, but not always a source of anger or disappointment and many are actually very happy with the status. And of course, some of us are angry over their relationship status while some are simply thinking earnestly to change their status.

6. SF: The pattern eloquently depicts the pool of emotions emerging out of Spring Fest. While some have engaged their minds in some random thoughts about SF, we can see smiling and happy faces along with some angry profiles.

7. BC ROY: Perhaps, the happy ones are those who were blessed with free attendance. The red web evidently indicates the service that is being offered by the hospital.

8. CDC: Though there are some yellow threads that indicate happiness, the grudge among the students against the placement statistics can be easily felt by the dense web of red threads. Well, if there would have been someblue or green threads then plausibly the density of yellow threads might have overshadowed the density of red threads.

We wish all the best to the students of the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning for the ANDC Competition and applaud their creative approach towards solving the problem. We advise the students in the campus to participate in the project and let the project be a success.

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