Dezeen Magazine

Competition: five copies of A Week at the Airport by Alain de Botton to be won

We've joined up with author Alain de Botton to give away five signed copies of his new book, A Week at the Airport - A Heathrow Diary.

Above photograph by Richard Baker

Over the summer of 2009, De Botton recorded his observations and conversations with travelers and workers he encountered while exploring Heathrow airport as its first ever writer-in-residence.

Above photograph by Richard Baker

The book features accompanying pictures by documentary photographer Richard Baker, who worked with De Botton chronicling their experiences of the airport.

This competition is now closed.


Five winners will be selected at random and notified by email. Winners’ names will be published in a future edition of our Dezeenmail newsletter and at the bottom of this page.

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Here's more from publisher Profile Books:



If you were asked to take a Martian to visit a single place that captures all the themes running through the modern world — from our faith in technology to our destruction of nature, from our interconnectedness to our romanticising of travel — then you would almost certainly have to head to an airport. Airports, in all their horror, interest and beauty, are the imaginative centres of our civilisation.

We all spend longer than we would like waiting around in airports, but we rarely discover anything about our fellow travellers or those who work there.

In the summer of 2009, however, alain de botton was given unprecedented, unrestricted access to wander around Heathrow, one of the world’s biggest airports, having been appointed its Writer-in-Residence. He spoke with everyone from airline staff and senior executives to travellers passing through, and based on these conversations he produced this extraordinary account of life at an airport and what it says about modern existence.

Working with the renowned documentary photographer richard baker, he explores the magical and the mundane, and the stories that inhabit this strange ‘non-place’ that we are usually eager to leave. Taking the reader through the departures lounge, ‘airside’ and the arrivals hall, de Botton shows with his usual combination of wit and wisdom that spending time in an airport can be more useful and more revealing than we might think.

‘I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life’
jan morris

‘De Botton’s gift is to prompt us to think about how we live and how we might change things’
the times

alain de botton is the author of bestselling books including:

the consolations of philosophy
the art of travel
how proust can change your life
essays in love

His work has been published in twenty five countries. He lives in London, where he helped to set up the School of Life (


Buy this book and others at the Dezeenbooks store
(in association with

Congratulations to the winners! Andrew J Wiener in Australia, Lincoln Rozelle in the UK, Sorana Buzinschi in Romania, Ben Son Wong in Australia and Melanie De Vrieze in Belgium each win a copy.