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1 Burnside Architecture- Theory

The Architecture of Happiness

by

The Architecture of Happiness Cover

ISBN13: 9780375424434
ISBN10: 0375424431
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $14.95!

 

Staff Pick

Alain de Botton writes with a fluid, lyrical style about the aesthetics of environment — architecture, furniture and landscape design, city planning — and its direct relationship to our quality of life. As in his other works, de Botton proves learned and engaging, but with The Architecture of Happiness he outdoes himself in presenting a beautiful package, rich with illustration, which goes far in supporting his conclusion: "We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness."
Recommended by Ann E., Powells.com

Alain de Botton writes with a fluid, lyrical style about the aesthetics of environment — architecture, furniture and landscape design, city planning — and its direct relationship to our quality of life. As in his other works, de Botton proves learned and engaging, but with The Architecture of Happiness he outdoes himself in presenting a beautiful package, rich with illustration, which goes far in supporting his conclusion: "We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness."
Recommended by Ann E., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the great but often unmentioned causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of walls, chairs, buildings and streets that surround us.

And yet a concern for architecture and design is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. The Architecture of Happiness starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and it argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, this book has at its center the large and naïve question: What is a beautiful building? It is a tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture that aims to change the way we think about our homes, our streets and ourselves.

Review:

"While happily reading Alain de Botton's graceful musings about architectural beauty, I was suddenly struck by the photograph of the Edgar J. Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, Calif., designed by Richard Neutra in 1946. I turned the page to see what de Botton had to say about it:

'The bourgeois couples who lived in Richard Neutra's mid-twentieth-century steel and glass pavilions in California... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Gentle affection pervades these pages, as does knowledge of architecture that is both broad and deep. A lyrical and generously illustrated monograph about the intimate relationship between our buildings and ourselves." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"While the presentation is somewhat dry, architecture and history aficionados will appreciate this comprehensive and pictorially enhanced survey. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] lively, philosophical and joyful book....The Architecture of Happiness contains the strut work of many hours of good, illuminating conversation." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"In this simple, entertaining and brilliant book, Alain de Botton explores how architecture speaks to us and why it affects all aspects of human life. His great strength is to explain things we always knew but never understood." Christopher Hume, Architecture Critic, Toronto Star

Review:

"How did we ever manage without de Botton?" Sunday Times (U.K.)

Review:

"Singlehandedly, de Botton has taken philosophy back to its simplest and most important purpose: helping us live our lives." Independent

Book News Annotation:

De Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, continues to be concerned about our happiness, in this case demonstrating lucidly and convincingly that the spaces we inhabit are essential to our well-being. Tracing the way human needs and desires have been served by styles of architecture from Classical to Gothic to Modern, he argues that the stylistic choices of a society can represent both its cherished ideals and qualities it lacks.
Annotation 2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

De Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, continues to be concerned about our happiness, in this case demonstrating lucidly and convincingly that the spaces we inhabit are essential to our well-being. Tracing the way human needs and desires have been served by styles of architecture from Classical to Gothic to Modern, he argues that the stylistic choices of a society can represent both its cherished ideals and qualities it lacks. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Alain de Botton is the author of three works of fiction and five of nonfiction, including How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, and The Art of Travel. He lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

credarch, January 22, 2007 (view all comments by credarch)
Amidst all the architectural drivel (Peter Eisenman, Daniel Libeskind, et al), masquerading as 'architecural theory', author Alain de Botton offers a refreshing view of the essential qualities that make architecture great. Practitioners would do well to read this highly informative, not to mention enjoyable look at our built environment.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Marlene, December 31, 2006 (view all comments by Marlene)
I am struggling to explain how this book inspired me without using all the old cliches. I am an architect and it re-focused my attention on the meaning and implications of what we build. I particularly enjoyed the last chapter which talked about challanging the users of our buildings to enjoy what they might not have initially asked for or imagined. Other chapters discuss architectural history and examine why certain buildings and places feel appropriate. The writing style is very precise and original. The book was both thought provoking and a pleasure to read.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375424434
Author:
de Botton, Alain
Publisher:
Pantheon
Author:
Alain de Botton
Author:
Alain de Botton
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Architecture
Subject:
Aesthetics
Subject:
Architecture and society
Subject:
Architecture -- Aesthetics.
Copyright:
Publication Date:
October 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.12x6.68x.90 in. 1.37 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Theory

The Architecture of Happiness Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375424434 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Alain de Botton writes with a fluid, lyrical style about the aesthetics of environment — architecture, furniture and landscape design, city planning — and its direct relationship to our quality of life. As in his other works, de Botton proves learned and engaging, but with The Architecture of Happiness he outdoes himself in presenting a beautiful package, rich with illustration, which goes far in supporting his conclusion: "We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness."

"Staff Pick" by ,

Alain de Botton writes with a fluid, lyrical style about the aesthetics of environment — architecture, furniture and landscape design, city planning — and its direct relationship to our quality of life. As in his other works, de Botton proves learned and engaging, but with The Architecture of Happiness he outdoes himself in presenting a beautiful package, rich with illustration, which goes far in supporting his conclusion: "We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness."

"Review" by , "Gentle affection pervades these pages, as does knowledge of architecture that is both broad and deep. A lyrical and generously illustrated monograph about the intimate relationship between our buildings and ourselves."
"Review" by , "While the presentation is somewhat dry, architecture and history aficionados will appreciate this comprehensive and pictorially enhanced survey. Recommended."
"Review" by , "[A] lively, philosophical and joyful book....The Architecture of Happiness contains the strut work of many hours of good, illuminating conversation."
"Review" by , "In this simple, entertaining and brilliant book, Alain de Botton explores how architecture speaks to us and why it affects all aspects of human life. His great strength is to explain things we always knew but never understood."
"Review" by , "How did we ever manage without de Botton?"
"Review" by , "Singlehandedly, de Botton has taken philosophy back to its simplest and most important purpose: helping us live our lives."
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