Thursday, 14 May 2009

Philosopher Alain de Botton

I was watching TV tonight and caught a segment on ABC2 from the ABC's Fora program covering a recent visit to Australia by Alain de Botton, a Swiss writer and television presenter who's books and television programmes discuss various subjects in a philosophical style. Sometime ago I saw his series on TV 'The Architecture of Happiness' where he discusses the nature of beauty in architecture and how it is related to the well being and general contentment of the individual and society. In it he describes how architecture affects people although people rarely pay particular attention to architecture. But the show explored how human personality traits are reflected in architecture. The best modern architecture, he argues, doesn't hold a mirror up to nature, though it may borrow a pleasing shape or expressive line from it.
In Australia in April he was promoting and discussing his latest book, 'The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work', in it he surveys ten different jobs, including accountancy, rocket science and biscuit manufacture, which includes two hundred original images and aims to unlock the beauty, interest and occasional horror of the modern world of work. (I have not read it) He is also the founder of School of Life, a new educational institution that claims to offer intelligent solutions to lead a meaningful life. Interesting I thought . . .

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