Why Round Shapes Spark Joy And 5 Examples Of Chubbiness

Designer and author Ingrid Fetell Lee, who has been researching joy for ten years, shares in her TED Talk Where joy hides and how to find it that neuroscientists have discovered a reaction to why round shapes spark joy and make us feel good. There is no surprise that aesthetics change people’s attitudes and mood; forms and shapes are just one part of it.

fMRI machines (or functional magnetic resonance imaging) have become a premier tool of neuroscience. During the research she refers to, they showed people images of angular and round shapes. They learned that the amygdala, which is the part of the brain’s emotional hub associated with anxiety and fear, lit up when people looked at angular objects. When found in nature, these shapes were associated with protection (think of thorns or antlers). We’ve developed a subconscious feeling of caution around these shapes; it goes way back to when we used to live surrounded by nature; whereas curves set us at ease.

Let’s see 5 examples of round shapes, which come slightly exaggerated to make us smile and encourage human interaction. Chubbiness and marshmallow-style have never looked better. It all started in 2014 with the Roly Poly chair shaking up the design world by Faye Toogood.

I was pregnant at the time when I designed this and it was about bringing that softness and roundness that I was experiencing physically into my design work.”
Faye Toogood

Today, let’s see six design objects, which have as common features chubby legs, rounded feet; some pieces remind balloon animals, others could be considered cartoonish figures.



Why round shapes spark joy-Lisa Allegra

The Moor collection comes in licorice, grey, brown, golden, and almond.




why-round-shapes-spark-joy-JACK RABITT eclectictrends

Brett Miller, alma mater of Jack Rabbit Studio creates robust organic wood furniture crafted from Eastern white pine and tulipwood.






Polyethylene outdoor armchair by Via Durini.




Martin Massé’s extraordinary creatures come as a limited edition of 12 pieces in Navona travertine.


5// BABY BEAR CHAIR – Pierre Yovanovitch


Why round shapes spark joy-Pierre Yovanovitch

Architect and designer Pierre Yovanovitch creates the Bay Bear armchair in fabric or sheepskin and solid oak.

Are you interesting in seeing how comfort is evolving? Please have a look at our latest trend report The New Care Economy which shares how care and wellness look like regardless of the industry you are in.

Trend Report


Consumers have become hyper-focused on wellness and self-care in the past 15 months. As a result, they are more interested in less transaction-based communication and more in what a brand can do for them. How does this spirit look translated into design?

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