Tuesday, 2 February 2010


This is a very interesting book by Alain de Botton. Questions like these made me curious and excited about what was to come:

"Will minimalism make us happier than ornaments?"

"Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures?"

For those of us who spend a lot of our time around objects, design and interior architecture a study in aesthetics could be a read well worth while.
Alain de Botton makes you look at architecture and objects from a psychological point of view and has a quote from Stendahl to help him:

"There are as many styles of beauty as there are visions of happiness."

That is very true and having read the book I look at rooms and houses I find ugly in a completely different way- what strange inner need made somebody make them? What kind of happiness did they feel? Analyze that!
These few lines make me happy by the way they point out how basic and uncomplicated we can be if analyzed:

"We depend on our surroundings obliquely to embody the moods and ideas we respect and then to remind us of them. We look to our buildings to hold us, like a kind of psychological mould to a helpful vision of ourselves. We arrange around us material forms which communicate to us what we need-but are at a constant risk of forgetting we need-within.
We turn to wallpaper, benches, paintings and streets to staunch the disappearance of our true selves."

And this:

"The fear of forgetting anything precious can trigger in us the wish to raise a structure, like a paperweight to hold down our memories. We might even follow the example of the Countess of Mount Edgcumbe, who in the late eighteenth century had a thirty-foot-high Neoclassical obelisk erected on the outskirts of Plymouth, in memory of an unusually sensitive pig called Cupid, whom she did not hesitate to call a true friend."


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