Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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
"While the presentation is somewhat dry, architecture and history aficionados will appreciate this comprehensive and pictorially enhanced survey. Recommended." Library Journal
"[A] lively, philosophical and joyful book....The Architecture of Happiness contains the strut work of many hours of good, illuminating conversation." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"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
"How did we ever manage without de Botton?" Sunday Times (U.K.)
"Singlehandedly, de Botton has taken philosophy back to its simplest and most important purpose: helping us live our lives." Independent
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.