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Through analysis and comparison of the imperial and scholar gardens, this module introduces the aesthetics and functions of traditional Chinese gardens, and explores the influence of Chinese philosophy, landscape painting and Feng-shui in garden making. The “mountain and water,” plants, and architectural elements are introduced, as well as the famous legends, stories, and myths embedded in traditional Chinese garden design. Lectures accompanied with slide-shows bring students into the magnificent Imperial gardens in Xi’an, Beijing and Nanjing, and the beautiful scholar gardens in Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. There are two take-home assignments, an optional field trip, and a final project: a research paper or a design project for the history or the design track students, respectively.
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