“Fengshui Prescribed Urban Design: The Making of Beijing”
Reginald Y. W. Kwok
Professor of Asian Studies, and Urban and Regional Planning, UHM
November 9, 4:00 p.m. Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319)
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa 1890 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822
Free admission; reception to follow.
Synopsis: The Chinese belief of fengshui (geomancy) as the popular guide for spatial organi- zation and decision-making has been continually practiced for over 4000 years. Following the dictums of fengshui, human settlements, whether housing or cities, are so determined in order to bring auspiciousness to the owners or users of these built environments.
This presentation explores some of the most basic and established fengshui precepts, and addresses how they have been incorporated into spatial design practices. The physical compo- nents of the historical capital city, Beijing, are reviewed through these principles. Illustrations of housing compounds, the imperial palace, and the city itself, demonstrate the society’s and the state’s strong adherence to and respect for fengshui beliefs.
Reginald Yin-Wang Kwok is a professor of Asian Studies, and professor of Urban and Re- gional Planning at UHM. The areas of his teaching and research specialization are the politi- cal economy of Chinese development and urbanization, globalization in East Asia, urban eco- nomic and spatial development, and the cultural impact on urban form in Asia. He studied and practiced architecture in London and Hong Kong, studied urban planning at Columbia University in New York, and taught at the Architectural Association in London and the Uni- versity of Hong Kong, where he was the founding director of the Centre of Urban Planning and Urban Studies before joining UH.
His publications include: Globalizing Taipei: The Political Economy of Spatial Development, Hong Kong–Guangdong Link: Partnership in Flux, General Theories of Urban Planning (in Chi- nese), The Shek Kip Mei Syndrome: Economic Development and Public Housing in Hong Kong and Singapore, and Chinese Urban Reform: What Model Now?