The happiest person in San Francisco

We would like to know a few things about your life. Where did you go to school, how was your childhood and how you ended up to your current position and achievements

I grew up in Astoria, Queens in New York City, a very greek neighborhood. Going to Greece every summer throughout childhood, I very much grew up biculturally. I’m so curious about people and about how we interact with the world around us. I studied sociology at Harvard University and began doing user experience design work in San Francisco. My interests eventually moved towards wanting to explore more physically engaging and playful projects that could inspire people. So I formed my own art and design practice to pursue this full-time.

We would like to know more about your research and current projects

My unique, multi-disciplinary projects playfully re-imagine the everyday and inspire people to see the world in new ways. I focus on highlighting the things and interactions we take for granted and showing them to people in a new light using humor and surprise. I’m interested in helping people re-connect with the wonder of the world around them.

The Pulse of the City made a big impression to people. Are you thinking of installing similar hearts to other cities?

The beauty of Pulse of the City is that it fits perfectly in any urban environment. There are no current plans for other cities, but I’m definitely open to collaborating with local partners to feature it in new cities.

Drones, balloons, colors, bubbles, music… Which are the pieces of the puzzle of happiness for you?

Evoking childhood through items like balloons and bubbles is a very powerful way of engaging people in play. Its about creating an environment and context to allow people to feel that freedom.

Newspapers and magazines describe you as the happiest person on earth. Are you?

My work is optimistic and joyful as is my personality. But this doesn’t mean i never get sad. I definitely experience the full range of human emotion regularly just like everyone else.

Can people be happier? And as an “expert” what would you advise them?

Happiness for me is just appreciating the beauty of whats around you in any given moment. This is what many of my projects try and bring attention to.

If I asked you to choose the top moment at your career, which one you’d pick?

When Pulse of the City was installed I actually witnessed a woman literally crying with joy after interacting with it. This is the most i could ever ask for with my artwork.

Your work is on something that you love, something that is not possible for the majority. Pure luck or is there a secret?

My line of work has its positives and negatives just like any other line of work. Its a great honor to be recognized for my ideas and creations that are trying to benefit people. Overall I just try and work hard, do good, and have fun.

Do you have any memories from your childhood involving Greek traditions?

Greek traditions were very big for me growing up. Easter is of course the most prominent as well as March 25th, namedays, the basilopita, as well as many other celebrations.

How is your Greek?

My greek is pretty fluent. I have been speaking since i was born and I’m very thankful. It was always very important for me to be able to communicate with my family. I really appreciate having that kind of access and insight to another culture.

Would you do a project in Athens or Thessaloniki? If yes what would it be?

I would love to do a project in Greece. I would like it to be site specific so id need to do more research on exact locations.

What does Greece mean for you?

Greece definitely plays a big role in my identity. Its a beautiful, rich culture that I grew up in and that I’m very proud of.


The happiest person in San Francisco

George Zisiadis is one of the most creative artists of San Francisco.

He was born in New York and he regularly visits his hometown of Thessaloniki every summer.  He explains that he grew up in one of the Greek neighbourhoods of New York. He graduated from St. Demetrios School in Queens and that’s the reason why he speaks fluent Greek.

“I was raised in the Greek populated district of Astoria in New York. The fact that I used to spend all summers in Greece as a child, helped me in growing up with two cultures”, the artist stated in an interview with

He later enrolled to Stuyvesant High School and also graduated from the Sociology Faculty of Harvard University in 2011.

The artist’s intention is to breathe creativity and subversive humour into everyday life. His works have been endorsed by major magazines and newspapers, like Time, NPR, WIRED, FastCompany and PSFK.

He has been described as the Happiest Guy in San Francisco and in his turn he tries to make the citizens of San Francisco happier.

“Happiness is to appreciate the beauty of everything around you. That’s the message and bottom line of my projects.”

Read below George Zisiadis interview at team.