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The Architecture of Happiness
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New or Used: 2 copies from $4.94
The Architecture of Happiness is Alain de Botton's exploration of the hidden links between buildings and our well being Bestselling author Alain de Botton has written about love, travel, status and how philosophy can console us. Now he turns his attention to one of our most intense but often hidden love affairs: with our houses and their furnishings. He asks: What makes a house truly beautiful?Why are many new houses so ugly?Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures - and can differences of taste ever be satisfactorily resolved?Will minimalism make us happier than ornaments? To answer these questions and many more, de Botton looks at buildings across the world, from medieval wooden huts to modern skyscrapers; he examines sofas and cathedrals, tea sets and office complexes, and teases out a host of often surprising philosophical insights. The Architecture of Happiness will take you on a beguiling tour through the history and psychology of architecture and interior design, and will forever alter your relationship with buildings. It will change the way you look at your current home - and help you make the right decisions about your next one. 'Engaging and intelligent . . . full of splendid ideas, happily and beautifully expressed'Independent Alain de Botton was born in 1969 and is the author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His bestselling books include Essays in Love; The Romantic Movement; Kiss and Tell; Status Anxiety; How Proust Can Change Your Life; The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work; The Art of Travel; The Architecture of Happiness and Religion for Atheists. He lives in London and founded The School of Life (www.theschooloflife.com) and Living Architecture (www.living-architecture.co.uk). For more information, consult www.alaindebotton.com.
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About the Author

Alain de Botton is the author of Essays in Love, The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel, Status Anxiety, The Architecture of Happiness, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, A Week at the Airport, Religion for Atheists, The News: A User's Manual, and latest novel The Course of Love, among many others. Alain is a bestselling author in 30 countries. He lives in London, where he runs The School of Life and Living Architecture.

Reviews

After The Consolations of Philosophy: how architectual style sets the mood. With a six-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Clever, provocative and fresh as a daisy * Literary Review * Full of splendid ideas, often happily and beautifully expressed . . . an engaging and intelligent book * Independent * Clever, provocative and fresh as a daisy * Literary Review * Full of splendid ideas, often happily and beautifully expressed . . . an engaging and intelligent book * Independent *

With this entertaining and stimulating book, de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life) examines the ways architecture speaks to us, evoking associations that, if we are alive to them, can put us in touch with our true selves and influence how we conduct our lives. Because of this, he contends, it's the architect's task to design buildings that contribute to happiness by embodying ennobling values. While he makes no claim to be able to define true beauty in architecture, he suggests some of the virtues a building should have (illustrated by pictures on almost every spread): order combined with complexity; balance between contrasting elements; elegance that appears effortless; a coherent relationship among the parts; and self-knowledge, which entails an understanding of human psychology, something that architects all too often overlook. To underscore his argument, de Botton includes many apt examples of buildings that either incorporate or ignore these qualities, discussing them in ways that make obvious their virtues or failings. 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. A three-part series of the same title will air on PBS this fall. (Oct. 3) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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