Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another textscape -- from Alain de Botton


". . . buildings are not simply visual objects without any connection to concepts which we can analyse and then evaluate. Buildings speak -- and on topics which can readily be discerned. They speak of democracy or aristocracy, openness or arrogance, welcome or threat, a sympathy for the future or a hankering for the past.
"Any object of design will give off an impression of the psychological and moral attitudes it supports. . . . works of design and architecture talk to us about . . . the kind of life that would most appropriately unfold within and around them. They tell us of certain moods that they seek to encourage and sustain in their inhabitants. . . . they hold out an invitation for us to be specific sorts of people. They speak of visions of happiness. . . . A feeling of beauty is a sign that we have come upon a material articulation of of certain of our ideas of a good life." Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness (Vintage, 2006)