The Architecture of Happiness

By Alain de Botton
Read by Simon Vance

4.68 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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The Architecture of Happiness is a dazzling 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. Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, this book has at its center the large and naïve question: What is a beautiful building?

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Summary

Summary

The Architecture of Happiness is a dazzling 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.

Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, this book has at its center the large and naïve question: What is a beautiful building?

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Time after time, his descriptions neatly capture the distinctiveness and character of even the most unusual buildings…[The book succeeds] through his quiet intelligence, passionate conviction, and the charm of a personality lightly tinged with melancholy.” Washington Post
“Narrator Simon Vance proves both professorial and affable as the book explores these fascinating topics, educating the listener with facts and insights…De Botton’s essay holds a mirror to the human spirit as it is expressed in our architecture.” AudioFile
“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
“Elegant…Unusual…full of big ideas.” New York Sun
“Entertaining and stimulating…The strength of his book is that it encourages us to open our eyes and really look at the buildings in which we live and work.” Publishers Weekly
“De Botton has a marvelous knack for coming at weighty subjects from entertainingly eccentric angles.” Seattle Times

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Alain de Botton

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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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 4.68
Audience: Adult
Language: English