Well after 3 years I’m very happy to announce that this project is finished. Thank you for the support.
The Happiness machine is framed and stored away until further notice. The picture itself is sandwiched between two sheets of glass, and framed by an aluminium and polished steel cabinet (though as you can see the polished steel is currently protected by a thick black film). It’s heavy„„about a quarter of a ton. Most of that weight is the thick laminate glass of course.
There are 100cm x 70cm limited edition lithograph prints now available at www.marklascellesthornton.com (I’ve kept these as reasonably priced as possible.
I’ve also started work on 50 half scale versions, which will be pretty expensive. About the price of a family volkswagen I should imagine, or one of those hybrid things…the Priam. No Priam was the king of Troy, I mean the Toyota Prius. I might be willing to make a trade actually, and not accept cash, and just take 50 hybrids. I’d prefer Volkswagen’s to be honest. I’ve had two of them, and their engineering means they are practically indestructible. Which leads me back to my frames.
I’m putting a lot of design and fabrication effort into these limited edition of 50. I’m just sourcing cotton papers, and running a few tests. They will also be framed in polished steel cabinet’s, engraved and numbered. 
I’ve also started work on some new projects, which I’m excited about. I’ll have more news on this, and some further information regarding exhibiting the above, very soon. Thanks again xx
Zoom Info

Well after 3 years I’m very happy to announce that this project is finished. Thank you for the support.

The Happiness machine is framed and stored away until further notice. The picture itself is sandwiched between two sheets of glass, and framed by an aluminium and polished steel cabinet (though as you can see the polished steel is currently protected by a thick black film). It’s heavy„„about a quarter of a ton. Most of that weight is the thick laminate glass of course.

There are 100cm x 70cm limited edition lithograph prints now available at www.marklascellesthornton.com (I’ve kept these as reasonably priced as possible.

I’ve also started work on 50 half scale versions, which will be pretty expensive. About the price of a family volkswagen I should imagine, or one of those hybrid things…the Priam. No Priam was the king of Troy, I mean the Toyota Prius. I might be willing to make a trade actually, and not accept cash, and just take 50 hybrids. I’d prefer Volkswagen’s to be honest. I’ve had two of them, and their engineering means they are practically indestructible. Which leads me back to my frames.

I’m putting a lot of design and fabrication effort into these limited edition of 50. I’m just sourcing cotton papers, and running a few tests. They will also be framed in polished steel cabinet’s, engraved and numbered. 

I’ve also started work on some new projects, which I’m excited about. I’ll have more news on this, and some further information regarding exhibiting the above, very soon. Thanks again xx

THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info
THE HAPPINESS MACHINEbyMark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.
The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.
The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.
By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.
Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.
Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?
Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.
Description text by Maria Sfyraki
Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.
For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here
Zoom Info

THE HAPPINESS MACHINE
by
Mark Lascelles Thornton

Cities have become increasingly obsessed with images and image-making. Iconic buildings often have a narcotic effect that diminishes social and political awareness. Architectural design is threatened to be reduced to the superficial play of seductive forms; while the urban space of lived experience has been downgraded to a codified system of signification.

The “Happiness Machine” reminds us that “space” is the flesh that flatters the bones of architecture. It brings back to light the fact that “to change life is to change space; to change space is to change life”. The artist Mark Lascelles Thornton reclaims the city-scapes as a decisive “lived moment”. He approaches places of megalopolis (such as London, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, and Taipei) that are constructed not only of steel and concrete but of ideas. He engraves the urban environment as a thought experience.

The “Happiness Machine” story begins on ground level, with footsteps. An artist, a citizen who resists to adopt the operation of walking as an activity similar to window shopping. After all a place can not be made habitable or believable only by clothing it with a “word”. It needs narration. A narration that rests upon the ability to form an urban environment where we encounter with people and we project ideas.

By collecting the world’s most iconic architectural superstructures across a single frame, forming an imaginary metropolis - it moves the question regarding architectural production from “what” to “how”, from objectification to connotative creation. The project highlights a forgotten urban value; that the social innovation for our cities should be visible through the re- establishment of Architecture as a social art; as a means of making society and everyday life visible.

Observing this picture we recall that the city is an oeuvre, closer to a work of art than to a material product of consumption. Our cities breathe through the wave of citizen’s memories that flows in, and thus the spaces are being transformed from acting as a reflection of society, to be the society.

Cities. Do we need a user’s manual? Do we comprehend space as process and in process? Have we reached the point to where the “lived” urban environment means the urbanisation of the mind?

Space. Urban space. Social space. Physical space… you name it· has been colonised, commodified, bought and sold, used and abused, produced and torn down. But underneath the black and red ink layers of the “Happiness Machine”, lies the murmuring voice of a society asking whether their city still exist as a vanishing act or a cultural dialogue.

Description text by Maria Sfyraki

Maria Sfyraki is an architect, urban planner and curator from Greece. She was also a columnist for Savior Ville, and has written extensively about architecture and urbanism.

For more information about “The Happiness Machine” and Mark Lascelles Thornton - and to shop for prints, please click here

Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info
Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 
Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.
Zoom Info

Conversations between The Leadenhall Building and Lloyds of London, both by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. 

Whispers in the press regarding Lloyds leaving their iconic building behind. Surely couldn’t be true. It would be one of the branding disasters of all time. Lloyds still looks like it was built…yesterday and tomorrow. It sits beautifully opposite one of the most intelligent buildings on earth..The first flat-pack skyscraper, sometimes known (though not by me) as the Cheese grater.

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love" Goethe.

I recently walked around london for 35 hours. Well, at least I sort of walked. There was quite a lot of standing around taking pictures. There were a multitude of coffee breaks and email responsibilities. There were a couple of meetings and I had to sit down in chairs. And there was also the 1 hour 30 minute interlude, where i lost all track of time in Tavistock square gardens. I fell asleep !!! It was the second day, so whats wrong with that? nothing…aside from my nice quite spot when i laid myself to rest, becoming what might as well have been a packed Benidorm beach in peak summer, by the time I awoke. 

The rest of the time however, I was simply walking. Slugging my heavy camera from point to point. I didn’t mean to stay away from the comfort of a mattress for that long. It just sort of happened on the fly. After a days walking, I was in Battersea at 1am, taking pictures of the great station, and also the Nine Elms construction sites. By the time i’d finished at 3am I just figured I’d keep going and walked towards Victoria - which then became Mayfair at dawn. Mayfair at dawn then became Soho for breakfast. 

It was at this point I decided to carry on and totally smash a personal record. In the August of 1995 I’d been on a trip to the Isle of Man to see a friend. On the last night before my departure I was almost out of money. Running really low, yet my friend was adamant that we go out for a final flurry. These flurries usually required drinking bottles of beer as fast as we possibly could. In this situation, you either say yes, and spend what remains of your cash…..or, be logical, do the right thing, and save your money for its intended purpose. To catch trains and buses home etc etc, once on dry land.

I opted for the beer. Whats logical when your 18?..not much really. I drank that beer and laughed, in the knowledge I would have a very long walk the next day. I’d thought I might be able to hitch (and I did try at first), but it was a beautiful summers day, and simply put, I enjoyed the adventure of it. I used to love putting myself in impossible situations, just so I could see if I could get myself out of them. I always did.

The walk from the port of Heysham to Blackpool (where I lived) was 35 miles (56.32704 Kilometres). 35 miles as about the most an untrained walker can trot along in one single day. I walked across the ferry gangplank at 5.45am that morning, and I arrived home around midnight. About 18 hours. The first 30 miles were a breeze. I strolled along very greasily, listening to my walkman (until it started playing really slow as the batteries ran dry), all day long, without an ache or a blister to my name. The last 5 miles however, were a trail. At this point something clicks in your mind as the inner voice tells it that you are close to home. You can feel yourself shutting down from the bottom up. Its part mental…part physical. By the time I was within a mile from my home, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. The pelvic joints simply couldn’t take it any longer.

So how could I walk around London for 35 hours, and not sleep in a bed for over 40. Well…if you walk 35 miles at such a youngish age, in walking terms at least, you believe you can “try” just about anything. 

Load more posts

Loading