The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton

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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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton is the bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, as well as numerous other works of fiction and essays. He is well-known for making complex philosophical and artistic subjects accessible for a wider audience. De Botton founded the School of Life, a series of lectures in London that aim to make academic learning applicable to real life. With the success of the school, this concept was adapted into The School of Life book series. De Botton lives and works in London.
 
Published December 10, 2008 by Vintage. 288 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Architecture of Happiness

Kirkus Reviews

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Considering the concept of elegance, de Botton writes, “We delight in complexity to which genius has lent an appearance of simplicity.” Gentle affection pervades these pages, as does knowledge of architecture that is both broad and deep.

Aug 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

The New York Times

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They spoke the language of science and engineering but, as Mr. de Botton puts it in one of his better lines, “their domestic buildings were conceived as stage sets for actors in an idealized drama about contemporary existence.” The search for truth, beauty and happiness takes Mr. de Botton far a...

Oct 03 2006 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

The New York Times

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Before long, de Botton notes, architects were boasting “of their ability to turn out houses in Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, Islamic, Tyrolean or Jacobean styles, or in any combination of these.” One aristocratic couple resolved their own clashing tastes by commissioning a house split down the middl...

Dec 10 2006 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

The Guardian

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The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton 280pp, Hamish Hamilton, £17.99 We meet John Ruskin early on in Alain de Botton's tantalising book on ideas of what makes a beautiful building, how architecture affects us and how architects might shape buildings that increase our chances of happin...

Apr 29 2006 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

The Guardian

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The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton Hamish Hamilton £17.99 , pp280 Alain de Botton is a brave and highly intelligent writer who likes to take big, complex subjects and write about them with thoughtful and deceptive innocence, elucidating the arcane for the layman.

May 07 2006 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

Publishers Weekly

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With this entertaining and stimulating book, de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life ) examines the ways architecture speaks to us, evoking associations that, if we are alive to them, can put us in touch with our true selves and influence how we conduct our lives.

Aug 28 2006 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

Bookmarks Magazine

With lavish words and illustrations, Alain de Botton takes the reader on a tour of the world’s architecture, past and present, and discusses the ways that each structure may satisfy (or fail to satisfy) the needs of the people who use it.

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

California Literary Review

I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE INTENTIONS OF LE CORBUSIER AND TILL WHAT LIMIT HE SUCCEDED TO APPLY THESE INTENTIONS IN HIS WORK AND LIKE I SEE VILLA SAVOY IS THE PERFECT “EXPERIMENTAL” EXAMPLE REVEALING HIS VISION TO DEAL WITH A NEW SPACE.THE PERIOD OF 20′S WAS DEFINE BY THE PROSPERITY OF WILLING...

Mar 26 2007 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

News Review.

While most philosophers exposit on a grand scale, Alain de Botton prefers to expound upon the minutiae.

Jan 11 2007 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

Scottish Review of Books

Questions of national identity are inevitable whenever the construction of high-profile civic buildings is undertaken, so it would be unsurprising if beneath the furore over the budgetary problems of the new Scottish parliament, there was not a deeper and more troubling question about the nature ...

Oct 28 2009 | Read Full Review of The Architecture of Happiness

https://muse.jhu.edu

“There are few harsher indictments against architecture,” de Botton writes, “than the sadness we feel at the arrival of bulldozers, for our grief is in almost all cases fuelled more by a distaste for what is to be built than by any hatred of the idea of development itself.” Like John Ruskin 150 y...

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