The Temporality of Building: European and Chinese Perspectives on Architecture and Heritage

Nicholas Temple, Yun Gao

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This study sets out to examine the historical changes in Western and Chinese concepts of temporality in building, and to demonstrate how such developments reveal often overlooked features of contemporary design practice and building construction, masked by the homogenising influences of globalisation. Drawing upon Marvin Trachtenberg’s recent investigations of western developments in building (Building-in-Time from Giotto to Alberti and Modern Oblivion, 2010), our study will trace key changes in the understanding and registering of temporal change in building, and how these historical developments can provide a platform for critically evaluating architectural practice in both East and West today. In addition to examining historical examples in China the sources for investigating current practices will include a series of key presentations delivered at the recent conference of the CCAF (Contemporary Architecture Forum of China) at Kunming University of Science and Technology in December 2014, in which both authors (Nicholas Temple and Yun Gao) were invited to attend. The CCAF event, which is annually hosted by a school of architecture in China, provides a national forum for leading Chinese architects to present their built and un-built projects to an audience of academics, practitioners and students. The conference in Kunming was particularly significant in revealing how young architects are responding to unprecedented rates of urban development in provinces such as Yunnan, and the implications these developments have on traditional or regional building practices in different parts of the country.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Dec 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Architectural History


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  • 创意昆明: 云南艺术学院设计学院民族文化主题创意活动成果集

    Translated title of the contribution: Creative Kunming 2016.6: Theme ethnic culture creative exhibition design works collection - Yunnan Arts University, Design CollegeChen, J. (ed.), Zhang, Y. (ed.), Pitts, A. (ed.), Olivier, M. (ed.), Bunlikhitsiri, B. (ed.), Termprayul, K. (ed.), Seo, M. (ed.), Saengseubchart, K. (ed.), Wan, F. (ed.), Sen, W. (ed.), Chen, Y. (ed.), Li, Y. (ed.), Yang, L. (ed.), Li, H. (ed.), Yang, C. (ed.), Zou, Z. (ed.), Yin, C. (ed.), You, Q. (ed.), Chen, J. (ed.), Yang, X. (ed.) & 11 others, He, P. (ed.), Chen, X. (ed.), Hu, Y. (ed.), Wang, R. (ed.), Gao, Y. (ed.), Song, Y. (ed.), Wang, A. (ed.), Ji, H. (ed.), Lin, C. (ed.), Liang, J. (ed.) & Li, W. (ed.), 1 Jun 2016, 1 ed. Kunming: Yunnan People's Publishing House. 368 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

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