- MP3 CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.; Unabridged edition (1 March 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433222973
- ISBN-13: 978-1433222979
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 113 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
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The Architecture of Happiness (Library MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Super Audio CD - DSD
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About the Author
Alain de Botton is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including The Consolations of Philosophy and Status Anxiety. His work has been translated into twenty languages. He lives in Washington, DC, and London, where he is an associate research fellow of the philosophy program of the University of London, School of Advanced Study.
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De Botton writes beautifully and passionately with helpful photographs or renderings that compare and contrast what he is extolling or criticizing. The final two chapters ("The Virtues of Buildings" and "The Promise of a Field") are particularly fine. In them, he discusses (among other things) order, elegance, balance, and coherence. The promise of a field is a paean to the spaces we occupy that were once either uncluttered or naturally beautiful in their own right. De Botton argues that if we are going to plop down a structure in the midst of nature (which already contains natural order, elegance, and balance) let us at least make it a 'best effort'. Put thought and consideration into the process rather than just utilitarian or worse, adding another scar on the landscape. Let's make cities like Edinburgh or Bath--conceived, planned and executed with purpose, not the awful sprawl of London or Los Angeles. I couldn't agree more.
None of the arguments in the book are earth-shattering, and they shouldn't be. De Botton's ultimate purpose of the book is to convert the "non-believers" of architecture who believe that the profession is nothing more than fanciful, unnecessary ornament. It successfully proves why we need architecture in a very gradual way: first, if you believe that who you are depends on external forces (not a very demanding concept for even the most cynical), then you can come to believe that who you are depends on where you are, followed by who you are depends on the built environment around you as much as the people in your life. After he adds this concluding link in his chain of persuasion, de Botton provides a list of five virtues that any happy structure should reflect: order, balance, elegance, coherence, and self-knowledge.
Required reading for architects and anyone considering buying or constructing a building.