The Swiss-born British writer, Alain de Botton, wrote the international bestseller, “The Architecture of Happiness”. In his book he states that a beautiful building and an ugly structure can both affect how we feel. However a beautiful building can affect us strongly, changing our mood. It can create all types of positive feelings. Likewise our own homes can give us positive feelings, depending on what we have surrounded ourselves with. You can read an interview done by CNN with Mr. De Botton in the following link,http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/10/16/buildings.happiness/index.html, and/or read his book listed above.
The Situationist International, an artistic and philosophical movement explored the idea of “psychogeography”, which they hoped would allow people to “search for a new way of life”. The inspiration behind this movement was the banality the SI thought was overtaking the modern world as a result of capitalism.
While this deals with a specific strain of architecture — urban planning — the desire to “jolt” people out of their regular patterns of circulation stems from another idea, which is that of awareness. Instead of automatically crossing through an urban environment, taking account of your movement, according to the SI, would result in a more pleasant living situation.
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