Download Chinese Spatial Strategies: Imperial Beijing, 1420-1911 by Jianfei Zhu PDF

By Jianfei Zhu

Chinese language Spatial techniques offers a learn of social areas of the capital of Ming Qing China (1420-1911). concentrating on early Ming and early and heart Qing, it explores architectural, city and geographical house of Beijing, when it comes to problems with historical past, geopolitics, city social constitution, imperial rule and authority, symbolism, and aesthetic and existential adventure. straight away historic and theoretical, the paintings argues that there's a chinese language method of spatial disposition that's strategic and holistic.

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Extra info for Chinese Spatial Strategies: Imperial Beijing, 1420-1911

Example text

7, Part 1, 1988, Map 14, p. 2513, by permission of Cambridge University Press. A GEO-POLITICAL PROJECT 4 5 6 this process, local positioning was linked to an overall dispositioning. The city became a constitutive part of a larger political and strategic map of the state. The genesis of the Chinese capital city therefore contained a strong artificial intention, imposed from a total and totalitarian designation of the state. In this process of selecting and forming the city, primary consideration was given not to the local conditions of the site, but to the structural superiority of the site in the larger configuration of the state.

In reality, and in political practice of the imperial court especially, this was always a problem and had been dealt with in a difficult synthesis of the two approaches, as manifested in the simultaneous use of Confucianism and Legalism, an expressive moral idealism and a latent theory of power practice (we will explore Legalist ideas and the practice of power later in the book). How is this theory, as imperial ideology, related to the spatial arrangement and formal layout of Beijing? Two aspects can be identified: an intentional projection of the ideal of a sage rulership (wangdao) on the formal plan of the city; and an inevitable synthesis of sage and powerful rulership (wangdao and badao), of li and shi, of a formal representation and an actual spatial practice.

In this process of selecting and forming the city, primary consideration was given not to the local conditions of the site, but to the structural superiority of the site in the larger configuration of the state. In constructing the site into the capital city, massive social and material resources were coordinated under the unified and systematic command of the state, which was capable of reforming the site and its local conditions: expanding the demography, strengthening the defensive form of the mountains with the walls, and compensating the weakness of the local economy by opening up the waterway.

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