The Architecture of Happiness. Home · The Architecture of Author: Alain De Botton Architecture Principles: The Cornerstones of Enterprise Architecture. Alain de Botton specializes in the philosophical-light approach to many of the of beauty in our life and it connection to our well-being and ultimate happiness. The Achitecture of Happiness is a dazzling and generously illustrated journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible.
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The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. 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. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Feb 13, , LARRY SHINER and others published The Architecture of Happiness by de botton, alain.
Left to its own devices, nature will not hesitate to crumble our roads, claw down our buildings, push wild vines through our walls and return every other feature of our carefully plotted geometric world to primal chaos. Nature's way is to corrode, melt, soften, stain and chew on the works of man [sic! And eventually it will win. Again, my reader may object that I push too hard. De Botton must dramatise his material - that is what we expect from writers.
We can take this attitude of machismo and supremacy to the natural world but we will eventually destroy ourselves, for everything we have comes from nature and our daily needs depend on it to an extreme degree. I struggled not to be irritated by de Botton's sojourn in Japan, where he is petulant about the local architecture's failure to minister to the needs of his soul, formed elsewhere.
When he finds a building he likes, his description seems lifted straight from In Praise of Shadows , but he does not acknowledge it, and quotes the same work a couple of pages later, rather disparagingly I feel. The idea that we might learn to appreciate an unfamiliar aesthetic from Japanese artefacts is presented with a take-it-or-leave-it air of humorous whimsy, less serious than the still fairly light tone in which, elsewhere, de Botton condemns the 'perverse' idea that architects should be creative and laments that Palladio did not give us more rules to obey.
OK I am overstating the case now That de Botton can present a conclusion about rightness in architecture without ever using the word 'I' is perhaps the easiest demonstration of the self-positioning of the text, what I call its expansive occupation of the normative ground.
Alain de Botton
By expanding briefly here and there into Islamic ecclesiastical architecture, Japanese ideas of beauty and occasional critiques of artistocratic privilege, de Botton gives the impression of having digested the entire spectrum of thought on his topic. The deliberate impression of roundedness denies the existence of an angle. I have worked with architects, and I believe that the subject requires the very deepest thought, because I agree with de Botton that where we are shapes how we feel and what we do.
And because I think a successful architecture is one that responds to who we are and what we want. Robert, what can you tell us? And it's a story building and there was an impact of some sort of aircraft - I guess they're saying now a helicopter - around the 20th floor. There were reports of flames coming out, an explosion and debris coming down.
But right now it's just a mess here. There's a massive, massive police and fire response. CONAN: We're getting word from the Federal Aviation Administration; it's still too early from their point of view to determine what kind of aircraft was involved or what might have caused this crash.
Obviously, though, there's got to be a lot of speculation. A plane crash is pretty rare, obviously, around here. But helicopters, recently over the last year, they've had a number of different problems, them dumping into the East River. One, a tourist helicopter about a year ago, and then there was a business helicopter that crashed not too long ago.
Now those were minor events and those happened into the water off Manhattan. But it's sort of good to know that - at least informative to know that these things happened before. I mean there's just an amazing emergency response. Now I see at least 20 ambulances, maybe 30 or 40 fire department vehicles, police vehicles packed with officers.
You know, they're taking no chances around here, but no word yet on who might have been injured or what might have happened. I mean, we do know it was a residential building. There are some business parts of the building that are on the lower floors. And it looks like initially from some of the helicopter shots, who have a better view of this than I do, that it was probably five or six apartments, or six units I should say, that looked like they were affected by smoke and fire.
CONAN: It looked like flames were gushing out at one point of two apartment buildings, one - two apartments, one on top of the other. And it did look - again, I'm watching this on television from a couple of hundred miles away - it did look as if you could see the hoses of firemen dousing the flames. You now see continued smoke gushing out of the buildings and obviously staining the building.
And certainly other apartments in that building might have been involved.
And all the indications we have thus far is no indication that any kind of terrorism is involved in this incident. Robert Smith, thanks very much for being with us. We'll have more for you later in this program, and stay tuned to NPR News throughout the day. We'll have the latest for you. But let's get back to our conversation with Alain de Botton about his new book, The Architecture of Happiness.
And, Alain de Botton, I realize it's disconcerting to be talking about damage to a high-rise apartment building in New York City and the philosophical principles of architecture, but it is an important point. We were discussing before the break the idea of money, and you say we don't have to put up with mediocrity anymore.
See a Problem?
I mean I think that some of the problem is that in our education system we get taught a lot about literature, we get taught a lot about pictures, about art. What we don't ever get taught about is architecture, even though it's the art form - of all the art forms, it's the one that has the greatest influences on us.
It's the one that costs the most, and it's the one that really colors our lives. And it sticks around for a very, very long time. So I think it's very important for people to, as it were, educate themselves in architecture so that we'll be less at the behest of property developers who come along and, as it were, abuse our ignorance of architecture by saying, well, you know, no one really knows what's beautiful and what's ugly so, you know, here's a condominium block and, you know, I'm sure you'll like if you looked at it in the right way.
So we're very at the mercy of people telling us what's good and what's bad and often don't trust our own judgments, whereas people's ordinary judgment is often much closer to the mark. This is Elizabeth.
The Architecture of Happiness
Elizabeth calling us from Provo, Utah. ELIZABETH: I was calling because I really kind of agree a little bit with what you just said about how a lot of commercial architects will just make something and, you know, if it's good enough to live there, people will live there.
And right now I'm looking for my first apartment with my husband. And just looking at some of the apartments, some of the ones you can tell they were built in a certain time - like they're a couple of decades old and they're kind of rundown and they're not very attractive.
They're very, very blockish, I guess. And then some of the other ones have a more classical style, the kind of things you would see on a movie or on TV where like a happy family would live, and they almost look like little homes.
I mean those are the places that I want to live because they give me a good feeling just looking at the architecture, you know. Like this is where I want to live. We're going to have a happy family. And, you know, it's not something that ever gets taught in architecture school. Architects don't get taught to create homely feelings.
Unfortunately, what that's done is that it makes generations of people always look towards old buildings as the sort of places they want to live in. They don't want to live in them because they're old.
They want to live in them because older architects, older schools of architecture were much better off than more modern ones at capturing the feelings of homeliness. I mean, my own personal hope is that actually contemporary architects can do good, nice feelings of domesticity just as well as their predecessors could.
They just have to be given a proper chance.
So, you know, I don't believe in necessarily always building in a nostalgic way. And sometimes buildings are as absurd as people who, let's say, love the past and decide to walk around with a wig and garters and speak in Shakespearean English. That's not a good response to loving the past. And I don't think we should always live in houses that are modern but look like they might have been built years ago.
But I think if the houses are to be modern, they should also remember some of those lessons from the past. I didn't mean to cut you off.
Go ahead. I also had another question. Because when you were just talking about the city of Bath and how a lot of the streets - the architecture all looks the same.
ELIZABETH: I mean do you think that sometimes when architecture is repeated in a row, like on a street, is it poor architecture that gives you a bad feeling when you see something like that?
Because my family moved to a neighborhood when I was a teenager and the houses were all the same. I mean they all looked exactly the same, and I couldn't stand it. I mean, like they were just all the same, and I just couldn't stand the neighborhood.
And I just didn't know if that was because it was poor architecture, because it just didn't give me a sense of comfort. I don't think that buildings being alike on their own will necessarily make it good, but when you have a good design like you do in Bath and like you have in many parts - I mean, many parts of New York City, for example, are very repetitive. It's the same kind of building type just repeated again and again. And it looks nice because, you know, the building type is good.
And I think one of the things we often seek from our architecture is a kind of calming influence. We don't necessarily want every single building to be different, because that's as irritating and as aggravating as, you know, if people are all shouting at the same time.
So we're often looking for calm, and repetition can be a good quality. All right. Thank you. And there's a fascinating example you give in the book, comparing buildings drawn by two different German architects for two different World's Fairs and how they express absolutely clearly the nature of the governments that built them.
I mean, buildings are extremely - sort of, if you want - eloquent things. They do communicate all sorts of emotions. And whenever architects are asked to design things like embassies - but also kind of parliaments and big civic buildings - they often have to ask themselves, you know, what does my country believe in?
What do I want to say about the world through my building? And if you look at the history of German embassies in the 20th century, it's fascinating.
You know, during the Nazi period, you see a building - which even if you take away the Nazi flags, etc. You just - you feel the aggression coming out of the window frames, the roof, the ceiling moldings - everything about it says aggression. And in a way, you get a kind of moral message. So - and this is true not just of embassies.
All buildings, as it were, tell us a story about how their owners see the world. And when we say that a building is beautiful - when we use that word beautiful - really what we're saying is we kind of like the vision of life that's coming out of a building. So, beauty isn't just a sort of aesthetic word. It's a word about, you know, how we want to live - which is why it sort of inspired me to give my book the title The Architecture of Happiness, because there's a lovely quote from the French writer Stendhal, where he says to think of something as beautiful is to see in it a promise of happiness.
So it's all about seeing in beautiful things a promise of a good life. CONAN: Yet you also write about how at various in the history of architecture, architects gave up the idea of talking about beauty at all. Particularly in 20th century, you know, the words like beauty can be easily associated with effeminacy, with aristocracy, with luxury - kind of not the basics of life. And in the 20th century, architects became obsessed with seeming a bit like engineers.
They wanted to be like the guys. You know, engineering is a very male-dominated profession. And architects - there's almost, you could say, a sort of gender anxiety among 20th century architects. You can change your ad preferences anytime. Upcoming SlideShare.
Like this presentation? Why not share! A buddhist contempoorary architectu Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. InhatJqEvz Follow. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No.The buildings seem to have shuffled forwards like a troupe of ballet dancers, each one aligning its toes to the very same point on the pavement as though in obediance to the baton of a strict dancing-master.
Close X. Please enter manually: It's a modest ambition, a very, very important ambition, but a modest one. In another age, I might have been an academic in a university, if the university system had been different. Description this book 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.
A consensus that collapsed. So it's all about trying to find the best fit between your talents and what the world can offer at that point in time. Can beautiful surroundings make us good? And it's been kind of a focal point of, you know, the religious in this area.
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