Does Architecture Make People Happy?

Building Happiness, a new collection of writings on architecture, concludes that the connect between beauty and happiness is unfounded.

"Building Happiness: Architecure to Make You Smile is much more skeptical of architecture's ability to make us happy than last year's widely-read book on the same subject, Alain de Botton's The Architecture of Happiness.

That's because while de Botton waxes poetic, the contributors to Building Happiness look to the empirical record-which, apparently, just doesn't show a strong link between architectural aesthetics and happiness. It's a difficult pill to swallow. As Jeremy Till, dean of architecture at the University of Westminster, says, "The association of beauty with happiness is one of those platitudes that have been passed unthinkingly from one architectural generation to another," and it's easy to see why. The idea that we can shape our psyches by shaping our buildings seems both comforting and intuitive."

Full Story: Book Review: Building Happiness

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95