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MIT

1. Marcus, Karen K. Twentieth century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; 20th century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; Chinese architecture, twentieth century .

Degree: MS, Department of Architecture, 1988, MIT

If one were to seek a unifying factor in this relatively short period of a modern Chinese tradition, it might be surprising to find that amidst the jolts of passing out of a feudal era into the twentieth century, the ancient principles of yin and yang still provide the jagged thread with which to attach the modern Chinese culture to the ancient one. This integration of opposing forces causes the pendulum to swing in any cross section of both material and nonmaterial form. Although this idiosyncratic leitmotiv is often to be found locked in a state of contradiction (the antithesis), the principles nevertheless provide a flexible structure and the leeway for change; as Chinese history has proven that rigidity most often results in decline and defeat. Moreover, it has provided a base for the growth of knowledge, readily adapting to the Marxist and Maoist methodology of dialectical materialism in this modern era. Advisors/Committee Members: Julian Beinart.The need for the Chinese to determine "what is modern!?" for themselves underlies their twentieth century progress. For architecture, the question has been no less dual than for any other application, as 'modern' is both ally, adversary. Even in my most sophisticated revelations of coming to terms with what is currently being built in China, I still boil all of the hundreds of tangents in my mind down to the simplest exclamation, "How did this happen?!" . The question of a break with the past follows soon thereafter, architecture itself (the question, not the schism). The rupture of buildings from their environment, nonetheless, is the supreme irony of the modern Chinese predicament. The 'skin' of the building may provide this intermediary for the Western' object,' but it is simply a tailored suit of the wrong size for the Chinese. This thesis will attempt to demonstrate both misalignments and alignments resulting from the enmeshing of a Chinese conception of architecture with other modern conceptions. The investigation will run concurrently with the argument for continuity in a modern tradition of built form on the Mainland, in maintaining the yin-yang principles of integrating opposites . Three themes traverse the crossroads of modern-western and modern-Chinese, with regard to architecture, role of history (and with it, theory), the role of art (and the art, and the role of the individual (and with it, the profession). The role of nature is a priori. Although architecture may manifest in the ' object, ' it begins and ends with the subject. Da Vinci's ideal man remains, to my mind, the quintessential diagram of European man's thoughts and striving. If we were to contrast this with a modern day video of a billion people on the deck of an enormous ship, on an even larger and shifting sea, we would immediately see that the problems are of an altogether different substance. The centering of the Asian individual alongside his fellow man is not a question of setting a single diamond, rather, it is perhaps more analogous to stringing a strand of freshwater pearls, carefully knotted after each one. It is not my intention to be definitive in writing this document. If I may borrow an element of Chinese architectural detailing, the clues which I am attempting to structure will form at best, a latticed-screen view of gaping holes, perhaps to cast a few fine shadows. By doing so, Chinese tradition to build at least as much with void (if not more), as this is what I admire most about the Chinese sensibility. It is also my wish to syncopate this assemblage with a modern multi-perspective, for as we who live in the present era all know, it is no longer a matter of finding a single spot in any one time, but rather a matter of maintaining an equilibrium in the choices of many times being presented to us, once (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: a-cc –; Architecture.; Architecture China History 20th century; Architecture, Modern 20th century

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APA (6th Edition):

Marcus, K. K. (1988). Twentieth century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; 20th century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; Chinese architecture, twentieth century . (Masters Thesis). MIT. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/78994

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Marcus, Karen K. “Twentieth century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; 20th century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; Chinese architecture, twentieth century .” 1988. Masters Thesis, MIT. Accessed April 24, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/78994.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Marcus, Karen K. “Twentieth century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; 20th century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; Chinese architecture, twentieth century .” 1988. Web. 24 Apr 2019.

Vancouver:

Marcus KK. Twentieth century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; 20th century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; Chinese architecture, twentieth century . [Internet] [Masters thesis]. MIT; 1988. [cited 2019 Apr 24]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/78994.

Council of Science Editors:

Marcus KK. Twentieth century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; 20th century Chinese architecture : examples and their significance in a modern tradition ; Chinese architecture, twentieth century . [Masters Thesis]. MIT; 1988. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/78994

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