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The Architecture of Happiness

by

The Architecture of Happiness Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


Bestselling author Alain de Botton considers how our private homes and public edifices influence how we feel, and how we could build dwellings in which we would stand a better chance of happiness.

In this witty, erudite look at how we shape, and are shaped by, our surroundings, Alain de Botton applies Stendhal’s motto that “Beauty is the promise of happiness” to the spaces we inhabit daily. Why should we pay attention to what architecture has to say to us? de Botton asks provocatively.

With his trademark lucidity and humour, de Botton traces how human needs and desires have been served by styles of architecture, from stately Classical to minimalist Modern, arguing that the stylistic choices of a society can represent both its cherished ideals and the qualities it desperately lacks. On an individual level, de Botton has deep sympathy for our need to see our selves reflected in our surroundings; he demonstrates with great wisdom how buildings — just like friends — can serve as guardians of our identity.

Worrying about the shape of our sofa or the colour of our walls might seem self-indulgent, but de Botton considers the hopes and fears we have for our homes at a new level of depth and insight. When shopping for furniture or remodelling the kitchen, we don’t just consider functionality but also the major questions of aesthetics and the philosophy of art: What is beauty? Can beautiful surroundings make us good? Can beauty bring happiness? The buildings we find beautiful, de Botton concludes, are those that represent our ideas of a meaningful life.

The Architecture of Happiness marks a return to what Alain does best: taking on a subject whose allure is at once tantalizing and a little forbidding and offering to readers a completely beguiling and original exploration of the subject. As he did with Proust, philosophy, and travel, now he does with architecture.

Synopsis:

Bestselling author de Botton considers how individuals' private homes and public edifices influence how they feel, and how dwellings could be built in such a way as to promote a sense of happiness.

Synopsis:

The Achitecture of Happiness is a dazzling and generously illustrated journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible connection between our identities and our locations.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 is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

About the Author

Alain de Botton has published four non-fiction books: Status Anxiety, The Art of Travel, How Proust Can Change Your Life, and The Consolations of Philosophy. In February 2003, de Botton was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of France’s highest artistic honours. In November of the same year, he was awarded the Prix Européen de l’Essai Charles Veillon. In 2004, Status Anxiety was awarded the prize for the Economics Book of the Year by the Financial Times, Germany. Cambridge-educated, de Botton now lives in London.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307277244
Author:
de Botton, Alain
Publisher:
Vintage International
Author:
Alain de Botton
Author:
Alain de Botton
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Aesthetics
Subject:
Architecture
Subject:
Architecture and society
Subject:
Architecture -- Aesthetics.
Subject:
ARCHITECTURE / Reference
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
April 2008
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
HALFTONES THROUGHOUT
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.02x6.06x.60 in. .89 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General
» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Reference
» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Theory
» Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics

The Architecture of Happiness Used Trade Paper
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307277244 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Bestselling author de Botton considers how individuals' private homes and public edifices influence how they feel, and how dwellings could be built in such a way as to promote a sense of happiness.
"Synopsis" by , The Achitecture of Happiness is a dazzling and generously illustrated journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible connection between our identities and our locations.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 is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.
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