The Architecture of Happiness | We Desire What We Lack
Every time I open Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness, I am blown away by both his original take on the importance of art, architecture, and design, as well as his deftness in writing. I checked out the copy I’m reading from the library, which was probably a mistake because I am tempted to underline nearly half of it. Today, I read de Botton’s words on beauty and ideals and how when we are drawn to beauty it is because it represents an ideal that we lack. According to this theory, we seek nature when our lives are saturated with technology and manufactured goods. Internal chaos will drive us towards a clean, uncluttered aesthetic. If we feel like our lives are boring, we might then be drawn to beauty that is bold, vibrant, and even a little strange. This theory as a whole does make me think of design trends. I think we desire styles and items when they’re absent from the design world for too long and vice versa. Once our appetite for a certain trend is satiated, we begin, slowly, to stop liking it. De Botton would argue that we stop desiring something beautiful when we achieve the ideal it represents.