Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Alain de Botton at DX

Photo Credit: Charlotte de Botton

I have a confession to make: Since hearing him speak tonight at The Design Exchange on his latest book, The Architecture of Happiness, I am slightly embarassed to admit that I have developed a full-blown-school-girl crush on Alain de Botton.

All my worries about him not living up to expectation in real life were for naught because he was as erudite and subtley funny as I had hoped he would be.

He gave an hour-long lecture that seems to follow the structure of his book fairly faithfully. In the 20 minute Q&A that followed, he was asked to comment on the popularity of loft living and his reply impressed me since he prefaced it by saying that he didn't yet have an opinion. He essentially suggests that it's quite telling that loft living is an urban phenomenon since it's typically white-collar workers who are attracted to these industrial-like spaces; the last thing a blue-collar worker would want to do after a long day of toiling in the factory is to return to a home that reminded them of work; they would choose to be closer to more natural surroundings (i.e. the suburbs with green space, etc.) He elaborated further and I just fell a bit deeper into my little crush.

I bought his book afterwards and we shared a moment because he smiled at me when he handed me back my signed copy. Definitely way cuter in person. ;)

I couldn't help but gush about my dear Alain as we were walking to Spring Rolls for dinner. Despite complaining that my crush had made him lose his appetite, my friend still managed to finish all the tofu I'd left from my pad thai, this, after polishing off his own meal too. I guess he wasn't that put-off after all.


Raffaella said...

Just like you, I also find Alain such an interesting (and cute!) writer, even though I have never had the pleasure of meeting him in person.

I read Status Anxiety and also his book on travelling (preferred the latter). Have not heard of this Architecture of Happiness yet.

I have a blog myself (although mostly is in Portuguese -



Anonymous said...

He's not. He can be such an arrogant wanker when he wants to be. The humble, I'm just an ordinary guy image is a ruse.
I've seen his other side and it is not pleasant.

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