Conductor of Happiness
"Architecture may well possess moral messages. It simply has no power to enforce them. It offers suggestions instead of making laws. It invites rather than orders us to emulate its spirit": a quote from Alain de Botton. It is weird, yet comforting to know that a structure made of brick and mortar can elicit such immense feelings and emotions out of you. An architecture of happiness can only be truly defined by the appreciator. The concept of having an architecture of happiness is like having that one person that can instantly change your mood from blah to amazing. When you enter your architecture of happiness, life immediately makes sense and you feel that you can conquer anything that comes your way. You actually have a "relationship" with this specific place. It understands you when no one else. It seemingly rescues you from every stress in life at that moment. Entering in this place brings clarity and inspiration. It elicits every good feeling about life: intelligence, music, and the smell of coffee.This place described above can be none other than Starbucks in Barnes and Noble. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but whenever I go into any Starbucks that is connected to a Barnes and Noble, I instantly feel inspired. I can walk into this cafe feeling uninspired, yet once I sit down with my laptop my thoughts fall into place. The atmosphere makes me feel as if I'm among elitists who are also busily collecting their thoughts into something awe-inspiring. At that moment, all of us are different people, but all with the same purpose. Another thought provoking quote form de Botton: "Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are for better or worse, different people in different places and on conviction it is architecture's task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be". To me this quote just solidifies my thinking process that something as insignificant as a cafe can make a person think differently about something or think more clearly on a subject matter.
Strive for harmony and order in all things...an East and West rule to follow. This concept of harmony and order is present in my architecture of happiness. The walls are covered with literature, which parallels to its function (a bookstore). The music is usually classical which coincides with the atmosphere conducive to reading and thinking. All these elements make the space match its environment, which in turn bring about a feeling of happiness and contentment. Order and cohesiveness make me feel safe; therefore, it only makes sense that this space would make me feel happy.
**The picture to the left showcases the borders around the window panes. I believe the borders in this design are merely to show order. Some borders show significance or emphasize a certain spot, but here they simply bring order among the design. The middle picture features some literature as art pieces. As stated before the literature on the wall coincides with the theme of the bookstore and reverts it back to the environment of learning and reading. Once again this shows order as well because the art is parallel with the windows opposite from them ( right photo).
Everyone has a place that they can go to and immediately feel at ease. The Starbucks cafe is such a space for me. It's hard to explain how it can possess these qualities, but this architecture makes me think differently when I'm inside. Just for that moment I am somewhere else, reaching my full potential.