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The Case for Adaptive Evolution: The Dong Village of Dimen, Guizhou Province, China

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Item Summary

Title: The Case for Adaptive Evolution: The Dong Village of Dimen, Guizhou Province, China
Authors: Xu, Wei
Keywords: Dong village
public space
Issue Date: May 2016
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract: Despite the fact that over 90 % of the Chinese nationals are Han ethnicity, China is considered a multiethnic country. There are many ethnic minority groups living in various parts of China, and their culture blends with and affects the Han culture to create the amazing mixture and diverse Chinese culture. However, this diversity has gradually lost its magic under the influence of rapid economic growth which encourages uniformity and efficiency rather than diversity and traditional identity. As a result, the architectures and languages of many ethnic minorities are gradually assimilated by the mainstream Han culture. Therefore, the research and preservation of ethnic minorities’ settlements have become a crucial topic.
As one of the representative ethnic minority, the Dong people and their settlements contain enormous historical, artistic and cultural values. Most importantly, its utilization of space is the foundation of its sustainability and development. As a living heritage, the maintenance of public space is crucial to the development of Dong village since the traditional function of its space makes up a major part of its cultural heritage. However, the younger Dong people’s changing social practices and life-style have resulted in the alteration of their public space. Despite the difficulties in keeping its traditional living space, Dimen Dong village still plays a positive role in maintaining its ethnic culture. The support and protection of ethnic villages like Dimen should thus be evaluated and taken into serious consideration.
This paper mainly focuses on analyze the relationships between the village’s public space and the residents’ behaviors, aesthetic experience and the culture. It also reveals the formation mechanism of public space to provide theoretical guidance for the future design of Dong village. By referring to existing documents, scholarship, on-site surveys and photography to support my case studies of various Dong settlements, I will also provide suggestions on possible sustainable development of local tourism and heritage conservations of the Dong area.The Dimen village in Liping County of Guizhou province in China is the main case study of this research. I will discuss the formation mechanism of its public space and trace back the historical configuration and adjustment of its spatial components. The case studies of Gaoding village of Guangxi province and Zhaoxing village of Guizhou Province also offer me some new ideas on the improvement of Dimen village.
This paper also tries to reveal that the different ideologies and attitudes of the villagers and the local government towards cultural protection and sustainable development. In the ending chapter, I propose a plan that may give some suggestions on how to improve the living environment for local villagers. This proposal includes reformation of the current layout of the Dimen village and renovation suggestions of the buildings. It also aims to improve the functionality of the public space as well as the infrastructures of the village for future development of tourism and economy.
Description: D.Arch. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:D.ARCH. - Architecture

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