Memory, Movement, and MoodRetrieving the Power of Architecture as a Physical Container of Memory

by Huan Qi

Institution: University of Cincinnati
Department: Design, Architecture, Art and Planning: Architecture
Degree: M. Arch.
Year: 2014
Keywords: Architecture; Memory; Movement; Mood; Beijing
Record ID: 2053870
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1397734632


Bodily experience is not just a physical exploration, but also a mental construct greatly influenced by our cultural backgrounds, value systems and personal feelings, which eventually “sediment in our bodies” as memory. Due to human beings’ innate capacity for remembering and imagining places through bodily experiences, a rich and meaningful relationship between architecture and memory has been established, which makes architecture a physical container of memories with which we trace time reflectively. Starting from the physical ruins of a recently demolished historic courtyard house, and through the mapping of the historical and physical attributes of the surrounding environment, this thesis aims to generate echoes back to the fading neighborhood culture of Hutong through a choreography featuring collective memories. Applying the “body image theory” of Kent C. Bloomer and Charles Willard Moore, as well as social mapping techniques developed by James Corner, the research culminates in the design of a landscape park of collective memories for Beijing, China, which will explore the secrets of a memory-laden mood of the neighborhood's living experiences and an alternative to the historical preservation of the Hutong culture.