One of the great, but often unmentioned, causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kind of walls, chairs, buildings, and streets we’re surrounded by. 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 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 audiobook has at its centre the large and naïve question: "What is a beautiful building?" It amounts to a tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture, which aims to change the way we think about our homes, streets, and ourselves.
"Just as de Botton has taken philosophy out of the academy and back into the realm of common sense and reflection, where it originally belonged, so he has taken discussion about the characteristics of architecture out of the professional journals, where issues of aesthetics are treated in a language that is wilfully abstruse, away from the offices of the developers and town planners, and back into the drawing room. There it behoves us all to think carefully, as de Botton has done with perceptive clarity, as to what exactly are the qualities that make a good building." (The Observer)
"The Architecture of Happiness is full of splendid ideas, often happily and beautifully expressed." (The Independent)
"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)
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