Finding the romance : a project that invigorates cultural values through architecture

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Liu, Yanliang
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Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Jadresin-Milic, Renata
Su, Bin
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Weifang (Shandong Sheng, China)
Shandong Province (China)
kite museums
museum architecture
arts and crafts
Chinese kites
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Liu, Y. (2018). Finding the romance : a project that invigorates cultural values through architecture. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can architecture help traditional handicrafts regain their cultural value? Hand-made arts and crafts are true artist's art. They come from the people and serve the people. Hand-made arts and crafts typically integrate practicality and aesthetics into one, with a duality between the materiality and the spirit. Folk arts and crafts are rooted in the history of the ordinary people of society, and are found across different regions and nations. They were a key part of popular culture in the past and have had a profound influence on contemporary cultures and arts. At present, most traditional handicrafts are lifelessly displayed in museums or sold as souvenirs. They have lost their original meaning and are out of touch with contemporary times. The kite is an important example of a traditional handicraft that is becoming undervalued. The kite is an important symbol of Weifang, and an important part of the intangible culture heritage of China and the world. In the era of a global economy, the kite should be more than a symbol. The role of architecture in this project is focused on addressing design objectives that have a direct link to solidifying the culture of Weifang. These objectives, economic, aesthetic and cultural, are explored through an analysis of the literature that has been gathered from national and international authors. Precedent studies of other successful projects that respond to similar issues of culture will also be considered. The design solution consists of a Kite Museum in Weifang. This project has been developed in three stages to re-establish the identity of Weifang, firstly, through reinstating an understanding and appreciation of the cultural heritage, and secondly, through communicating the heritage of Weifang. The last stage focuses on maintaining the authenticity of the site from any inaccurately represented future development.
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