Exhibit Shines Spotlight on Traditional Chinese Architecture

April 18, 2018

A picture of students in the Framing Chinese Architecture class

Students in the Framing Chinese Architecture class pose with some of their models in the Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons

“Framing Chinese Architecture”—combining architectural ambition with historic touches—is now on display at the Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons.

The exhibit features the work of architecture students from ARCH 3850-01 Traditional Chinese Architecture, taught by Jennifer Lee Michaliszyn, assistant professor in the Department of Architecture. She was inspired to bring the limited documentation of Chinese architecture to a class of mostly senior architects.

“These projects are complex,” says Lee Michaliszyn. “It shows students how to make educated guesses and use their architecture skills to augment a straightforward project.”

Students studied traditional Chinese timber framing through drawing and model as it evolved from the Sung to the Ming Dynasties (approximately 960-1644 AD).  Their analysis projects are based on the research and drawings of Liang Sicheng (1901-1972) and Lin Huiyin (1904-1955), who were members of the "First Generation" of Chinese architectural historians, and who established the discipline according to modern methods. The class allowed students to design Chinese architecture models, as well as timelines and maps that correspond with the models.

“The class does not only focus on the history of Chinese architecture, but also the contemporary aspects of the field,” says Andrea Welsh, BSA ‘18. Along with their classroom experience, students were able to explore Chinese architecture at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Peabody Essex Museum to build a full perspective for their projects.

“I hope freshmen will know that projects will get more complex and interactive once they advance,” says Dahlia Roberts, BSA ‘18, of viewing the exhibit. “This is a good learning experience for them.”

The exhibit can be viewed through May 12 in the Guarracino Family Gallery, located at the entrance of the Schumann Library. For more information, contact libraryexhibits@wit.edu. An opening reception was sponsored by the WIT Center for Diversity & Social Justice Programs. Find pictures from that event below or at this link. 

 Students featured in the exhibit include:

  • Helmsley Alphonse
  • Adonijah Campbell
  • Ben Finkley
  • Nicole Giroux
  • Jakob Hyde
  • Austin LaRocca
  • Robert Nesbit
  • Priya Patel
  • John Paul
  • Eric Petro
  • Anthony Polukin
  • Danielle Sukovich
  • Stephen Ranieri
  • Dahlia Roberts
  • Clay Killacky Seaver
  • Andrea Welsh

More information on the exhibit can be found on the library's website. 

--Sumya Mohiuddin