The Architecture of Happiness
Alain de Botton is probably better known for his more recent works How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Art of Travel, but this book is wonderful for those curious about the history -- both philosophical and technical -- of architecture. His erudite, crystalline language presses meaning into each sentence while gracefully carrying the reader along in a surprisingly gentle way that conceals the immensity of his associative intelligence, creating an overtly pleasant history of dwellings and their many significances. Covering everything from the sensuality of modern faucet design to neolithic engineering feats, this is a great introductory book for those curious about architecture, and something to think about for those already acquainted. -- Cameron Carlson
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 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.
Praise for The Architecture of Happiness…
“De Botton has a marvelous knack for coming at weighty subjects from entertainingly eccentric angles.”
—The Seattle Times
"An elegant book. . . . Unusual . . . full of big ideas. . . . Seldom has there been a more sensitive marriage of words and images."
—The New York Sun
"With originality, verve, and wit, de Botton explains how we find reflections of our own values in the edifices we make. . . . Altogether satisfying."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"De Botton is high falutin' but user friendly. . . . He keeps architecture on a human level."
—Los Angeles Times