The Impact of Architectural Technology on Architectural Art through Detail Design - with Shanghai City after the Chinese Economic Reform as Example

Hou, Yinan
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
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Architecture is not only an art, but also a technology. Architectural technology involves many aspects of building construction such as construction crafts, structural design and materials applications. Since the Chinese economic reform, new materials, technique, structure and standards are continuously emerging within China, and undoubtedly have a significant impact on the development of architecture we see today. These impacts not only affect the construction process but, also subtly influence architecture as an art, specifically in detail design. As the relationship between architectural art and technology, the details are often the first to be shaped by the changes in architectural technology. Accordingly, this dissertation will introduce the impact of architectural technology on detail design: First, the changes of architectural technology affecting traditional materials and craft indeed creates restriction on architectural detail in terms of material authenticity and structure logicality. This results in the rationalism that architects gradually feel a lack of control in detail design. Secondly, although the development of architectural technology has brought forth new ways to demonstrate architecture as an art, architectural detail design tends to be more homogeneous as the result of stricter laws and regulations, higher labor cost, and construction industrialization to name a few. The improvement of architectural technology has negatively affected the diversity of detail in architecture to certain degrees. Meantime, the facades of buildings tend to be flat as a result of the enactment of building energy-saving regulations. Thus, the surface design is gradually prevailing. Finally, the development of architectural technology creates an increasing number of traditional details with practical functions that are no longer needed. This causes there to be gradually less expression of detail on buildings, and encourages a minimalist design that fits the trend of homogenization and surface design in architecture. Accordingly, three conclusions below of this dissertation are drawn: 1. Based on rationalism, there is less opportunity for architectural detail design, due to restrictions that arise in the pursuit of architectural authenticity. 2. Contemporary architects are paying more attention to the aesthetic expression of surface design. The link between the building’s internal construction and external form is being disrupted. 3. Surface design and minimalism will become more popular building styles.
D.Arch. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
architectural technology, architectural art, detail design
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Architecture (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Architecture
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