Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Computational re-interpretation of heritage architecture
Author: Li, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 2167
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis presents research in which a set of contemporary computational digital techniques have been applied to investigate and interpret traditional Chinese architecture. The techniques involve algorithmic representation, digital modelling and digital fabrication. The research provides a methodology that can be utilised for future research employing the digital techniques in the context of understanding, investigating, interpreting and representing traditional Chinese architecture. The ancient rulebooks that describe the traditional Chinese architectural styles and construction technologies are used as the basis for the algorithms and parametric rules and the application to the modelling and fabrication process. Building on the work of producing systematic analysis on both rulebooks and contributing knowledge from extant buildings, the possibility of modelling traditional Chinese architecture using digital techniques is proposed and tested. This augments research already undertaken by architectural historians (who provide traditional approaches and analysis) by offering a new perspective to understand and recreate the Chinese style, as well as solving difficulties that traditional methods struggle with. The research is significant as it demonstrates how digital techniques can advance knowledge and understanding of significant Chinese architectural styles, especially considering a large number of heritage buildings are lost or damaged, as well as there is a lack of systematic and complete records. Consequently, this enhanced understanding can then be used to rediscover, restore, refurbish and recreate the traditional Chinese architecture. The research is significant as it also illustrates how digital techniques, especially parametrics, can be applied to a novel target, traditional Chinese architecture, which is beyond the common area of complicated shapes of contemporary architecture that they are usually applied to. Consequently, this attempt extends the function of digital techniques and bridges the gap between the traditional Chinese architecture and contemporary parametrics. Three case studies of significant elements in the understanding traditional Chinese architecture are used to present and advance the methodological process provided. These are the parametric recreation of the floor plan, the parametric interpretation of the design principles of the ting tang and dian tang sections, and the study of a typical Chinese joint structure, the dou gong. Each case study offers its own contribution to achieve the two significances. An example of the integrated digitally represented conceptual model is then given based on the three case studies. Three applications are also included to further prove the findings of this research. The findings illustrate how contemporary digital techniques can be used to augment and enhance knowledge of traditional Chinese architecture by turning descriptions and definitions into rules and algorithmic representations through the study of the rulebooks and the process of digital modelling. During this process inferences have to be made as representational source data such as architectural drawings are almost always incomplete and ancient language used in rulebooks is hard to understand accurately. The key here is the systematic and logical advancement that digital techniques bring when compared against design styles of architecture that was established in a pre-digital context. The findings also demonstrate enhanced understanding of using digital techniques to investigate and interpret traditional Chinese architecture. During this process, the cultural aspects, Chinese history, ancient politics, Chinese traditions and styles are all integrated into the consideration and representation of the digital techniques, which add new inspirations to the contemporary computational techniques.
Supervisor: Knight, Michael ; Brown, Andre Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral