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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The use of Chinese geomancy in contemporary architectural design Mok, Ru-Ping


In the field of contemporary architectural design the expression of cultural images without relying on superficial traditional motifs is a major concern. That contemporary architectural design should nevertheless express cultural images is the author's belief. One method for incorporating basic Chinese cultural principles in architectural design might be to follow Chinese geomantic orders expressed in modern functional and formal terms. The main source of the geomantic principles applied in the studies are based on "Yang Chai Shih Shu" ("The Ten Books of Yang Dwelling", by Sang Wei, fifth century), which gives the basis for orientations, site selection, the courtyard concept and other concepts of building lay-out. A design process based on geomantic staging was developed for the experiment to investigate how the modern designer might integrate and coordinate the input of the professional geomancer with that of the architect-designer and other specialists. In order to test the method, a hypothetical program was developed for a Chinese Cultural Research Institute. The design method attempted to respond to a decision-making process which took into account Chinese geomantic principles and other Chinese traditional requirements together with a contemporary design approach. The result of the design experiment may not only show how a unique "Chinese" character can be expressed in modern, non-superficial terms but may also serve as an introduction to the science and use of Chinese geomancy for those unfamiliar with it.

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