The smiley face is a universally recognised symbol of happiness. Now the motif is appearing on homewares such as ceramics, glassware, textiles and accessories. It’s not hard to guess why. Round-the-clock exposure to anxiety-inducing global news has provoked a counter-reaction, and this wave of positivity is manifesting itself in simple everyday objects.
Jaime Hayon’s ‘Happy Hook’ for Fritz Hansen marks a playful new direction for the brand and captures the mood of the moment. ‘It’s an object that reminds us to smile in hard times. Being positive is essential to life – I wanted to meld function with this message,’ explains Hayon.
Presented at last year’s London Design Festival, Attua Aparicio’s series of plates use discarded ceramics as a canvas for contemporary decoration: ‘I conceived the collection in China, where I could almost only communicate with emojis. I made a test on a plate to see if the glass would fuse to it and, without thinking, drew a smiley face.’
Glass artist Neal Drobnis also gravitated to happy visages when he was trying to use up glass remnants in his studio. They caught the eye of US lifestyle store Degen, which collaborated with him to create unique face-emblazoned pieces that celebrate the imperfect nature of humanity.