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The French use the concept of ‘jolie laide’ to describe certain female beauty – it means, literally, ‘beautiful ugliness’ and they use it to describe a woman like, let’s say, Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is not classically beautiful yet has something about her that’s appealing. Koolhaas’s work and Tokyo and others fall into the category of ‘jolie laide’: not formally or classically beautiful, but appealing. We need to stretch our concept of the word beautiful to encompass a wide variety of things.

Alain de Botton

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