The modern world is wondrously complex
but often confusing.

I spend my time trying to figure out how we can live better together by exploring the connections between human emotions, culture and design.

I conduct deep research and collect stories. I run odd participatory experiments in public spaces. I share my learnings in essays, books and talks. And I work with smart people to help create happier communities and cities around the globe.

Right now I’m working on a new book about how the modern world kills our trusting relationships, and what we can do to revive them. 

My last book, Happy City, explored how lessons from psychology, neuroscience and design activism can help all of us fix broken cities and improve our lives. (Read the review in the New York Times.)

Thanks for stopping by. Let’s keep learning together. 


I combine deep research and stories about people to dig into ideas I can’t get out of my head. Sometimes it takes a whole book to figure stuff out. My first book, The Last Heathen, examined the ways that our ancestors use myth and magic to control our behaviour. My most popular book, Happy City, considers how we can redesign our cities to maximize joy. 

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I love working with interdisciplinary teams to solve tricky problems. My favorite collaborators are my colleagues at Happy Cities, who use evidence, design and policy solutions to nurture happier, healthier, more inclusive cities.

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I write feature stories, essays and columns to share stories and ideas about modern life, design, adventure, psychology, trust and cities.
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