For centuries artists turned to philosophers for ideas and inspiration, but modern life has left little time for contemplation. Now a group of philosophers, led by the renowned author and commentator, Alain de Botton, has taken philosophy to the streets, capitalising on the trend for ‘pop up’ stores with a new concept called The School of Life (Ideas to live by). Based in a non-descript store on London’s Marchmont Street, the team has “organised the shop as a chemist for the mind, a place where you can try out a variety of cultural solutions to everyday ailments. We sell books, artworks, courses, holidays and therapeutic services.”
In the underground classroom (created by artist Charlotte Mann) evening and weekend classes are held on a range of topics under five central themes – work, play, family, politics and love. Here, leading artists and “thinkers” deliver “secular sermons… and stigma-free psychotherapy” to attendees.
“The School of Life (www.theschooloflife.co.uk) is a cultural enterprise offering good ideas about everyday living… and is open to everyone seeking intellectual and personal adventure,” say the organisers.
Perhaps food for the soul is the Next Big Thing – especially given the dire straights we find ourselves in.