Nicole's Reviews > The Architecture of Happiness

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton
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Jul 12, 07

bookshelves: architecture

I read some review of this book recently, I think maybe on archinect.com, that hit the nail on the head. If you haven't had the benefit of an ARCH 101 class, but are interested in understanding what architecture - and design - are, or in my opinion should, be about, then this is your book. Even having taken the intro classes I found it to be a valuable refresher.

It is a general discussion of the motivators and benefits of thoughtful design. I enjoyed the imagery employed in the book and the way De Botton was able to emphasis the important role that architecture can play in communities and culture and that he took it beyond just personal space to a larger urban context.

I've had people ask me in the past, "So architecture huh? What do they teach you, I mean it's basically a box with a door, right?" This, coupled with another misconception that architecture is really just technical, engineering know how has made it difficult to explain to people what exactly architecture is. It is technical know how, but it is also a creative pursuit and problem solving and community building and whatever direction you might want to take it. De Botton does a good job of capturing the more intangible aspects of design.
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