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Design Construction of Chinese Courtyard Space in the Context of Deconstruction

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conference contribution
posted on 2020-07-15, 04:51 authored by Zhe Zou, Xiduo Yi, Bruno MarquesBruno Marques
There are several differences in architectural forms and cultural systems between the east and the west, which are attributed to different traditional philosophical ontologies. China takes "Tao" as its ideological basis emphasizes: "Nothing". Chinese fundamental principles are deeply related to philosophy and metaphysics. Traditional culture pursues spiritual connotations. Inversely, the west regards "Logos" as the origin of the world. This emphasizes the "being", with fundamental principles based in geometry, mathematics and science. The west has established a scientific spatial consciousness since the beginning of the Renaissance. It is based on mathematical relations and geometric principles, and focused on the pursuit of matter. "Logos" is an important aspect of Western philosophy, meaning that the “center”, the “source” or the “truth”, is a transcendental "presence." Pythagorean's mathematical theory and Plato's "rational" thinking are ultimately a variant of "Logos". The external imitation of nature in western classical gardens aims to explore the essence of nature. The separation of subject and object as the fundamental formula of Western philosophical epistemology has made mankind dominating nature for a long time. It leads to the deterioration of our living environment. Deconstructive philosophical thought is the subversion and criticism of the "Logos centralism" since ancient Greece. It eliminates the sense of "center" and the "subject-object dichotomy", which is the process of transforming "being" to "nothing". "Anthropocentrism" is disintegrated, when people and nature re-entered in an equal dialogue and symbiosis. Therefore, the symbiotic relationship between man and nature has been reshaped by the spirit of deconstruction. This is highly compatible with the ideological concept of "harmony between man and nature". The cultural spirit of harmony is precious in Chinese traditional philosophy. Taking the design project of the Innovation Pioneer Park of Wuhan University of Technology as a case-study, this paper analyses the morphological deconstruction characteristics and their cultural connotation to contemporary Chinese courtyard spaces. It explores a design language and method that breaks through the traditional thinking paradigm, bridging it to characteristics of a particular era as well as the aesthetic appeal. This is not a universal design paradigm, but an exploratory series of philosophical speculative processes, which in turn can inform a dynamic and sustainable development. It shows ideological essence of reminiscent of culture and spirit of the traditional Chinese landscape. Contemporary people’s world views should be manifest. By doing so, it becomes a conceptual, radiant and pioneering Chinese cultural spiritual symbol in a chaotic contemporary society.


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Zou, Z., Yi, X. & Marques, B. (2019, August). Design Construction of Chinese Courtyard Space in the Context of Deconstruction. In The International Conference of Experience Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (XD2019GoldCoast), Gold Coast, Australia. Griffith Centre for Design and Innovation Research: Griffith Centre for Design and Innovation Research.

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The International Conference of Experience Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (XD2019GoldCoast)

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Gold Coast, Australia

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Griffith Centre for Design and Innovation Research

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Griffith Centre for Design and Innovation Research

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