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Centre for East-West Studies in Architecture and Landscape

We have been welcoming PhD students from East Asian countries in architectural humanities since 1996, and in landscape humanities since 2002. At first they came to learn about Modernism in the West, drawing on our expertise, aware of our alternative history and publications in that field. But we found it equally necessary to engage with their far eastern context, education, and assumptions, for better understanding both of its ancient traditions and of its current attitudes and methods. Our first two architecture PhDs were both partially engaged with Chinese geomancy and its Daoist roots, bringing to light unfamiliar ways of thinking and representation. Their investigations also revealed something of the potential richness of the only ancient culture to rival the European base of Greece and Rome, and whose architecture has yet to see adequate recognition.

There followed other doctoral studies concerned with rationalism, craft, the vernacular architecture of the Chinese Dong minority, the oriental influences on Alvar Aalto, and the development of conservation in Malaysia. The case study of Japanese architect Tetsuro Yoshida, pursued by Hyon-Sob Kim post-doc with the help of an AHRC grant, opened up the complex question of go-betweens, for besides being one of the leading Japanese exponents of the International Style around 1930, Yoshida also designed houses continuing the Japanese carpentry tradition. It was these more traditional works that raised the enthusiasm of European Modernists like Häring, Hilberseimer and Asplund whom he visited, and they persuaded Yoshida to write his famous book on the Japanese house and garden.

Following Peter Blundell Jones’s sudden death in 2016, the work of the Centre was continued by Jan Woudstra, Department of Landscape, and who in late 2018 was joined by Xiang Ren from the School of Architecture, in order to revive the architecture and landscape dimension.

Selected Outputs

Two articles published in Volume 20, Issue 2 June 2016, Architectural Research Quarterly.
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/arq-architectural-research-quarterly/article/socially-engaged-architecture-in-a-chinese-rural-village-xihe-village-community-centre-2014/AACA99439FE51BA8959B1CF91F0ECC34

One articles published in Volume 21, Issue 3 September 2017 , pp. 277-280
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/arq-architectural-research-quarterly/article/xiang-ren-on-an-organic-connection-with-china-architecture-and-ritual-how-buildings-shape-society-by-peter-blundell-jones-london-bloomsbury-2016-365pp-price-2499-hb/52027747C9761A706651E0C432E6D76F

Completed PhDs on East Asian topics supervised by Professor Peter Blundell Jones

Bong Hwangbo, 'In search of alternative traditions in architecture - a cross-cultural interdisciplinary study', completed March 2000.

Su-ju Lu, 'Dialogue with Feng Shui: An awareness of Chinese traditions', completed October 2002.

Tae Woong Kang, 'In search of rationalism in the architecture of Hendrik Petrus Berlage', completed February 2005.

Hyon Sob Kim, 'A study on Alvar Aalto and his experimentation in Villa Mairea', completed June 2005.

Xuemei Li, 'Chinese "Wind and Rain" Bridges - origins, forms and construction', completed October 2007.

Young-Jun Kim, 'Traditional Houses and their Continuity in England and Korea', completed 2009.

Jayson Hsin-Yin Huang, 'Architecture of British Consulates in China,' completed October 2010.

Bing Jiang, ‘City Gates in China’, completed 2014.

Hui-ju Chang, ‘Japanese Victorian Architecture in Taipei’, completed 2014.

Chomchon Fusinpaiboon, ‘Development of Modern Architecture in Thailand’, completed 2014.

Jianyu Chen, Yingzao fayuan: The Conflicts and Harmonies between Two Chinese Architectural Education Systems in 1923-1937, completed 2017.

Derong Kong, ‘Carpenter, Architecture and Phenomena Among the Dong People in South West of China’, completed 2017.

Xiang Ren, ‘Socially-engaged Architecture in Chinese Traditional Villages’, completed 2017.

Completed PhDs on East Asian topics supervised by Dr Jan Woudstra and accompanying publications

Jijun Zhao, 'Thirty years of landscape design in China (1949-1979): The era of Mao Zedong', PhD, 2008 (Refereed paper: Jijun Zhao and Jan Woudstra, 'In Agriculture, Learn from Dazhai', Mao Zedong's revolutionary model village and the battle against nature' Landscape Research, 32/2 (2007), pp.171-205.)

Sang Jung Yoon, 'History and conservation of gardens in Korea', PhD, 2009
(Refereed paper: Sang Jun Yoon and Jan Woudstra, 'Advanced horticultural techniques in Korea: The earliest documented greenhouses', Garden History 35/1 (2007), pp.68-84.)

Kairan Li, 'Landscape improvement and Scenic Sites in pre-modern China: a critical review', PhD, 2009 (refereed paper: Kairan Li, Jan Woudstra and Wei Feng, ''Eight Views' versus 'Eight Scenes': The history of the Bajing tradition in China', Landscape Research 35/1 (2010), pp.83-110. Articles: Kairan Li and Jan Woudstra, 'Ancient Chinese recreational preference reflected in the survey of traditional landscape series', in Tourism Tribune 24/6 (2009), pp.42-45; Kairan Li and Jan Woudstra, 'The modernity of Chinese traditional perception of landscape reflected in serial scenes', Chinese Landscape Architecture, 25/161(2009) (5), pp.29-33.)

Lei Gao, ''Breaking and repairing': Conflicting values in the historic gardens of China', PhD, 2010 (Conference paper: Lei Gao and Jan Woudstra, 'Keeping Yuanmingyuan: a mirror of attitudes and approaches to garden heritage in China (1900s-2007)' in Géza Hajós and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, Rekonstruktion in der Gartendenkmalpflege (Hannover: Zentrum für Gartenkunst und Landschaftsarchitektur (CGL), Leibniz Universität Hannover, 2007, pp.52-55. Article: Lei Gao and Jan Woudstra, 'Re-solving Sharawadgi: some thoughts on its Chinese roots', Shakkei 17/1 (2010), pp.2-9.)

Hae Joon Jung, ‘Landscape as Heritage: A critical assessment of the value-based approach for the use of protecting Korean Scenic Sites’, completed 2015 (book chapter: Hae Joon Jung, “Korean village groves’ in Jan Woudstra and Colin Roth (eds), A History of Groves (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2018), pp.150-166.)

Fei Mo, ‘The Evolution of the Urban Landscape of Shanghai (1843-1949)’, completed 2016

Josepha Richard, ‘The Hong merchant’s Gardens during the Canton System and the aftermath of the Opium Wars’, completed 2018 (refereed paper Josepha Richard and Jan Woudstra, ‘”Thoroughly Chinese”: Revealing the plants of the Hong merchants’ gardens through John Bradby Blake’s paintings’, Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 34/4 (2018), pp.475-497)

Jingjing Liu, ‘Front Gardens as Mirrors of Attitudes: Form and function of front gardens in urban contexts’, completed 2018.

Liyuan Gu, ‘History and Conservation of Rockwork in Gardens of Imperial China’, completed 2018. (paper: Liyuan Gu, Xinren Gu and Jan Woudstra, ‘The Application of Digital 3D Technology in Garden Surveys – Rockwork as a Case Study’, Architectural Journal, S1 (2016), pp.35-40; Liyuan Gu, Jan Woudstra, Xinren Gu and Alison Hardie, ‘The Pulham Family: Rockeries in the British Garden during 19th-20th Century’, Chinese Landscape Architecture, 31/6 (2015), pp.115-119.)

Jie Tang, ‘The Chinese Grand Canal World Heritage Site: Living heritage in the 21st century?’, completed 2018

Current PhDs on East Asian topics supervised by Jan Woudstra

Youcao Ren, Bionic metaphor in Feng shui: connection between humans and landscape

Xiaozhi Yang, The garden culture of Wuxi

Selected Events

26 November 2018: Peter Blundell Jones Memorial Lecture Series no 1. Invited speaker: Haobo Wei - Up to the Mountain and Down to the Village

26 & 27 October 2017: International conference: ‘New research on the history of Chinese gardens and landscapes’, Centre for East-West Studies in conjunction with the Gardens Trust

16 November 2016: Memorial Event – ‘A Celebration of the Life and Work of Peter Blundell Jones’

10 March 2016: Seminar - 'Chinese Villages, Houses and Gardens'

30 June 2016: Symposium - 'Habits, Beliefs, and Tacit Knowledge: Everyday ritual in East Asian villages'

21 November 2011: East-West Studies 2011/12 Seminar No. 1, Modernisation in Asian Architecture 1850-1950,.

Visits to East Asia by Peter Blundell Jones

8-16 November2003 to Korea, gave lectures in Daegu and Seoul and visited various historic sites.

13-26 May 2005 to China, lecturing at Harbin for a week then visiting Beijing to see historic sites.

9-23 May 2009 to China, lecturing at Wuhan and Harbin, visited historic sites including Niejiang and Wudang Mountain.

20 October to 4 November 2010 to China including Guangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou.

Hosted conference session on east-west exchange: with Hyon-Sob Kim at the SAH conference in Pittsburg, USA, 13 April 2007

Visits to East Asia by Jan Woudstra

November 2009 to China: talking at the International Conference for Urban Design, HUST, Wuhan; also visiting Suzhou and Shanghai

May 2010 to China: lecturing at Ji'nan, and consultation and meetings Yuan Ming Yuan (the Garden of Perfect Brightness) World Heritage Site, Beijing.

May 2011 to China: Lecturing at Harbin University and Beijing Forestry University, visit to Yunnan; receiving Honorary professorship at Harbin University of Technology

November 2014 to China: Cultural Landscapes of Industries in Harbin Institute of Technology project referee for international conference,

September 2018 to China: Visit to Harbin, Guangzhou, Huangzhou, Dazhai as part of project entitled Chinese Modern Landscape Architecture, of which he was overseas participant National Natural Science Foundation of China at Huazhong University of Science and Technology 2016-9

November 2018 Part of research project entitled Traditional villages and rural revitalisation planning, International Cooperation Research with State Laboratory of Sub-tropical Architecture, South China University of Technology, 2018

Surging Wave Crop

Neixiang Yamen Crop

Maple Garden Crop