Architecture as therapy

Rarely does a design project begin with a well understood “higher purpose” statement that addresses how it intends to feed our psyche.

The purpose of both art and architecture as depicted in Alain de Botton’s recent book Art as Therapy should be “to help us lead better lives–to access better versions of ourselves.”

Art as Therapy

The needs of our psyche in de Botton and Armstrong’s view include (paraphrased):

– to remember what matters

– to see the hopeful side of life

– to gain perspective

– to amplify our best qualities

– to understand what we are most proud of

– to discover missing bits of ourselves as individuals

– to see how the imperfect can be attractive

– to see the things that affect us (but are not noticed)

The authors say we need better critics who will help us practice Enlightened Capitalism. That is, society needs more people who help us make choices that are in line with the true needs of our psyches.

de Botton previously wrote The Architecture of Happiness, which I summarized in the post “Design for Empathy.”

– Sharon VanderKaay

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