The Architecture of Happiness

The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton / Feb 23, 2020

The Architecture of Happiness Rooted in the idea that architecture and interior design have the power to influence how we feel and that we are for better and for worse different people in different buildings this book suggests

  • Title: The Architecture of Happiness
  • Author: Alain de Botton
  • ISBN: 9780241142486
  • Page: 281
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Rooted in the idea that architecture and interior design have the power to influence how we feel and that we are, for better and for worse, different people in different buildings, this book suggests how we might learn to build better, attractive dwellings in which we would stand a higher chance of happiness.

    • ☆ The Architecture of Happiness || ✓ PDF Download by ↠ Alain de Botton
      281 Alain de Botton
    • thumbnail Title: ☆ The Architecture of Happiness || ✓ PDF Download by ↠ Alain de Botton
      Posted by:Alain de Botton
      Published :2019-06-24T23:24:25+00:00

    About "Alain de Botton"

      • Alain de Botton

        Alain de Botton is a writer and television producer who lives in London and aims to make philosophy relevant to everyday life He can be contacted by email directly via alaindebottonHe is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers It s a style of writing that has been termed a philosophy of everyday life His first book, Essays in Love titled On Love in the US , minutely analysed the process of falling in and out of love The style of the book was unusual, because it mixed elements of a novel together with reflections and analyses normally found in a piece of non fiction It s a book of which many readers are still fondest.Bibliography Essays In Love 1993 The Romantic Movement 1994 Kiss and Tell 1995 How Proust Can Change Your Life 1997 The Consolations of Philosophy 2000 The Art of Travel 2002 Status Anxiety 2004 The Architecture of Happiness 2006 The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work 2009


    1. First read January 2008Casa P, Sao Paulo, by Marcio KoganThat most of this feels like something I might myself have written, I take to be an indictment of my own education. I am going to an attempt a highly critical reading, because I am suspicious of how comfortable I feel in it. Technically, it is as much about interior decoration as about architecture, but that makes less of a snappy title.The book never quite stops apologising for its subject, de Botton repeating that architecture seems triv [...]

    2. I find myself looking at art and buildings differently after reading The Architecture of Happiness, so I cannot deny the power of the text on an architectural neophyte. And while I don’t agree with all of the author’s assertions, I found myself reacting rigorously to his contentions. Add beautiful prose, and yes, I can recommend The Architecture of Happiness.The book reads like a combination of architecture primer and persuasive essay stocked with supporting photos and illustrations. De Bott [...]

    3. When I was a child we used to have long walks with my parents (both architects) along the streets of my home town and listen to them discuss almost every building, every design choice and ornament we walked pass. Since then I got used to walking the streets looking up at the buildings (this resulted in stepping inside numerous puddles, dogs business and never finding any coins) and I thought that I could really "see" a building. After reading this book I discovered a whole new way of "looking" a [...]

    4. I probably made two mistakes when decided to start this book,First: I chose a book about architecture and 'listened' to an audio version,Second: I started it in a very busy day when I had too much driving to do, so more or less it became like a background noise.Well, I will try to be fair, but even this review with the enclosed rating might not be fair at all. The book is so beautifully written. Very poetic and touches your heart to the core. But that is precisely why I found it extremely boring [...]

    5. خوندن و پابه‌پاش دنبال کردن عکساش و سرچ کردن نمونه‌هاش، برای کسی که یکم معماری دوست داشته باشه هم به نظرم خیلی جذاب میاد.

    6. I'm not an architect or scientist, but a counselor and teacher. I read the book because of my interest in beauty, form and function. I enjoyed the author's compare and contrast method in discussing various architectural styles. Most amusing was Viscount Bangor and Lady Anne Bligh's Castle Ward. Negotiated to end a marital dispute on style, the Castle displays a Classic front and Gothic rear. The psychology of "talking buildings" was light hearted and a little far fetched for me at times. My prob [...]

    7. Years ago I listened to a lecture by the Muslim scholar Sayyid Hossein Nasr that described the philosophy of traditional Islamic city planning, some of which still survives today in places like Fez and Esfahan. As Nasr described, these cities and their component parts were designed with the explicit belief that a person's external environment strongly influenced their internal state. A city that at every turn subtly reminded people of the divine reality would in turn help them gravitate towards [...]

    8. A nod to my brother for introducing this book to me. De Botton completely disbunks the notion I'd adopted (from whom? where?) that good architecture is purely functional and anything else is simply the expression of an its designer's overactive ego. NOT. Surely architects are guilty of erecting bombastic works, but it by no means explains why the line of a rooftop or curve of a banister stirs a particular mood and emotion in its viewer. De Botton delves into the how we relate to objects, why one [...]

    9. This book flipped a switch in me. I didn't know I could be interested in arhitecture, but de Botton was inspired by Stendhal's motto "beauty is the promise of happiness" and analyzes our surroundings and how human needs and desires manifest their ideals in architecture.

    10. (500) Days of Summer is one of my favorite movies. Being a real life embodiment of Tom Hansen, I thought I would give this book a try. It was impossible for me to watch the movie and not be curious as to why he was reading it and why he enjoyed it so much that he felt the need to give it to Summer.When I first started this book I thought it was going to focus quite a bit on the psychology of why architecture has the ability of changing who we are. While it did delve into the idea of the differen [...]

    11. I really enjoyed this book. It's fast paced, conversational and exploratory. My favorite parts were the philosophizing about the nature of beauty. For example, de Botton discusses how we subconsciously humanize almost everything we see. We give buildings and sculptures personalities then judge them based on these projected human traits.He talks about how the buildings and art we find appealing reflect the fulfillment of our desires, not what we are or have, but the ideals we aspire to. Because o [...]

    12. I'm not an architect nor an architecture expert, but I am definitely interested in the subject. This book isn't a technical treatise on what makes "good" architecture, but instead talks about how architecture reflects who we are, how we feel about our lives, and how architecture can make us feel. I enjoyed the musings, and the historical perspective, especially in such insightful passages as this one, on how people developed local housing styles in earlier centuries:"The difficulties of travel a [...]

    13. Alain de Botton's Architecture of Happiness is a humanist's guide to understanding built environments. Finding room to appreciate both classical and contemporary architecture, de Botton resolves the quarrel between the ancients and the moderns by suggesting that every architecture strives to provide the conditions for happiness. "What works of design and architecture talk to us about is the kind of life that would most appropriately unfold within and around them. They tell us of certain moods th [...]

    14. This book was a gift from my fiancee and, in fact, one of the first books he gave me. For that reason, it will forever hold a special place on my bookshelves. I enjoyed the book overall however; I felt as though it was a bit of an architectural history review and didn't fully delve into the ties between psychology and architecture. I found myself thinking on many occasions, "Ooooh, here's his chance - this could get really good!" Only to feel a wee bit disappointed when his sermon had ended. I f [...]

    15. The author does not discuss anything new, he just puts it all very well together, chose excellent illustrations to make his points.It is written in such fine and clear language and structure, that it just flows of the pages. Such a pleasure to read and to use as a little nudge to contemplate about a few truths in life.

    16. His writing style just flows, it's never boring.His sensuality to space isn't sentimental at all, it's on point, he makes it feel like realistic poetry, were you just can't but relate, it's not just for architects, it's for everyone that has depth.

    17. I originally rated this book 4 stars; but given how often I think about it, how often Sam and I talk about it, and how frequently I recommend it to library patrons and friends I had to bump it up.

    18. This image-packed book of short chapters has the effect of an afternoon with a sentimental and articulate friend. At his most helpful, the author takes your hand and invites you to peer at specific designs: if modern art bores you, read Part III and prepare to be ravished by stone slabs and other conceptual artworks.Botton is equally illuminating when pondering aesthetic and emotional contexts of buildings: a rural Swedish living room, a McDonalds, a stark office complex in Troy, Michigan, or th [...]

    19. Alain de Botton just never disappoints. He has changed the way I think about a number of things and I'm better off for it. In The Architecture of Happiness there are no revolutionary notions but it opens the mind and the senses for beauty on several levels.

    20. This began really promisingly with some wonderfully evocative language personifying buildings and architecture in a playful way. However it became more of a vague historical overview with some questionably sweeping statements and I found myself much less engaged. But I think it does portray architecture and design in quite an accessible way, a great introduction to these ideas, especially with all the photographs and diagrams making for a really nicely designed book that's quick to read.

    21. Like the first book that I read by de Botton, I enjoyed this one. I first read On the Pleasures and Sorrows of Work because I heard him give an interview about that one last year. The Architecture of Happiness was the first one that I saw on the shelves of his though, and I finally remembered to put a request through to the library to get this one. It came up as a featured prop in the movie (500) Days of Summer, starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and for that reason was given a m [...]

    22. As some other reviews have noted, switching the words "Architecture" and "Happiness" in the title gives a better picture of what this book is about. Mostly, de Botton traces a path along various historical and geographical areas of development in architecture, and he draws out what makes a structure beautiful and emotionally satisfying. The writing style will likely put many readers off, as the vocabulary choices are about as ornate as the 18th-century British decorations for which the author ha [...]

    23. "Taking architecture seriously therefore makes some singular and strenuous demands upon us. It requires that we open ourselves to the idea that we are affected by our surroundings even when they are made of vinyl and would be expensive and time-consuming to ameliorate. It means conceding that we are inconveniently vulnerable to the colour of our wallpaper and that our sense of purpose may be derailed by an unfortunate bedspread. At the same time, it means acknowledging that buildings are able to [...]

    24. "The failure of architects to create congenial environments mirrors our inability to find happiness in other areas of our lives. Bad architecture is in the end as much a failure of psychology as of design. It is an example expressed through materials of the same tendency which in other domains will lead us to marry the wrong people, choose inappropriate jobs and book unsuccessful holidays: the tendency not to understand who we are and what will satisfy us."In architecture, as in so much else, we [...]

    25. At first I thought the nouns should be reversed, ie, the Happiness of Architecture. But I began to realise that the book isn't so much about architecture as it is about people and how they express themselves with architecture, as they do with other art forms. He is using architecture to explain humans. He anthropomorphises archictecture. Architecture becomes a frozen emotion. He says that “In essence, what works of design and architecture talk to us about is the kind of life that would most ap [...]

    26. One of the best books I have read. I will never look at Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Environmental Psychology, etc. the same way again. Already a fan of Alain de Botton, I can only love him more. Well written, he always explains himself with clarity and eloquence, yet in a language that is easily understood. Where we live, where we are, what we are surrounded by, is not materialistic, but realistic. It does effect who we are. More than one could ever imagine.

    27. Where has this guy been all my life? Writing about architecture and design and philosophy and the capriciousness of artistic styles. I couldn’t get enough. This little gem is a book about why architecture makes us happy, and I am fascinated by architecture, especially the historic kind, so I was hooked. “We need a home in the psychological sense as much as we need one in the physical: to compensate for a vulnerability. We need a refuge to shore up our states of mind, because so much of the w [...]

    28. Simply pleasant, short meditations on how architecture reflects and informs human lives and ideals. Nothing outstanding, the sort of book you hope to find on the shelf at a B&B, relax with happily, and not mind if you aren't finished when you leave.

    Leave a Reply