The Architecture of Happiness

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A friend of mine and I were discussing happiness and contentment. The position I was discussing from was that most people aren’t completely honest with themselves about who they are and what really, honestly does make them happy. It’s an issue that I’ve been exploring within myself as I try and figure out what the next year or two will look like for me professionally and personally.

Later, I ran across this quote from Alain de Botton. In his book “The Architecture of Happiness,” de Botton writes that

“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.”

It’s the last quote that was of course, verbatim in idea from what I was discussing earlier, but something that I had never thought of applying to architecture. With the current project I am involved in, how much of it is architectural gymnastics, and how much of it is really doing and addressing what we want and need it to address? In the end, I want to produce a work that will truly satisfy the inhabitants and the community.

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