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Landscape into Places:Feng-shui Model of Place Making and Some Cross-cultural Comparisons

2010-02-02
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Mississippi State University, USA. pp320-340, 1994) ABSTRACT: As model of placemaking for the Chinese,
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Landscape     Making     Model     Place     Comparisons    

(Reprinted from: Proceedings of 94'c CELA Conference, History and Culture (Clark, J. D. Ed.) . Mississippi State University, USA. pp320-340, 1994) ABSTRACT: As model of placemaking for the Chinese, Feng-shui builds hierarchies of natural and social order and makes sense of identity, which lead to the hierarchical responsibility coverage of caring for and conserving of the landscape, and the achievement of sustainable environment and communities. Feng-shui has unique models of process, evaluation and representation. It has a "live-within" model of box-within-box, which may inject some fresh air into the Western design theories dominated by the point-line-area model, and may provide a new vocabulary for a more comprehensive understanding of, and a new way of thinking and acting toward, sustainable landscapes. 1. Introduction The concept and practice of Feng-shui (which literally means wind and water) can be dated back as early as the fourth century BC, and consolidation of the system is believed to have taken place in the third and fourth century AD (Needham, 1956). Until early 1950s, it was widely practiced throughout China by the emperor as well as the masses, the sacred and the profane. Every city, village, house, and tomb in traditional China more or less bore some mark of Feng-shui.. After going underground while officially banned in communist China for nearly four decades, it has begun to appear again (Fig. 1). The practice of Feng-shui flourishes even more in Chinese dominated countries and areas outside mainland China, e.g. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore (Feuchtwang, 1974; Bennett, 1978; Lip, 1979, 1986; Skinner, 1982; Walters, 1989). Feng-shui has even appeared in Western culture, in New York and Washington DC (Rossbach, 1983). Fig.1 A landscape design proposed by the author was under the judgment by two geomancers (center) as well as a professor (left) and the client (right) (photo by the author) Noted and reported by Westerners constantly since Yates (1868) more than one hundred years ago, Feng-shui has been understood and treated differently at different time and from various points of view. With a few exceptions (Johnson ,1881) and Schlegel ,1890), most early colonial administrators and Christian missionaries interpreted Feng-shui as a "black art," "superstition" (Eitel, p.4), or "charlatanism" (De Groot, p.938). It was the greatest obstacle to Christian activities including construction and engineering in the landscape, which were considered to be necessary by the Westerners for the development of the country (Edkins, 1872; Eitel, 1873; Henry, 1885; Dukes, 1914) and it is reported that hundreds of soldiers had to be sent to protect such construction (Henry, 1885, p.150). Extremely negative judgment and hostile attitudes must have been held among the Jesuits in the early seventeenth century , which may be the excuse for the bonfire that led to the loss of many valuable books on Feng-shui (Needham, 1962). In the twentieth-century Western world, Feng-shui not only has attracted more and more scholars, but has increasingly gained higher status. Needham recognized it for its role in the development of Chinese science and technology (1956, 1962). Michell (1973) maintained that the nature and purpose of Feng-shui has scarcely been recognized in the Western countries, as compared to such other Chinese inventions as gunpowder, the magnetic compass, and the printing press. Because the latter fit easily within the Western value systems of materialism, and declared that it is now time to reverse the western traditional values. Bennett (1978) suggested the concept of Feng-shui as "astro-ecology" pointing out the importance of the relationship between lives and terrestrial environment in this Chinese concept. He argued that siting (Feng-shui) theories are based on the theme of the proper relationship of human dwellings to the immediate environment as well as the cosmos at large. A similar position was held by Lip (1979, 1986). They gave Feng-shui a modern flavor of ecology and geography and ecological design. Feng-shui model was also used as a location index for archaeological work ( Lai, 1974). Some researchers attribute the great success of sustainable agriculture in China to Feng-shui (Michell, 1973; Skinner, 1982 ). It is compared to another ancient Chinese miracle, acupuncture, the effectiveness of which has been well recognized in the Western world. The practical tenets of Feng-shui are considered to be universal and can be practiced equally in the West and the East (Skinner, 1982, p. 1982; Xu, 1990). Rossbach (1983) took Feng-shui as a key stone, linking man and his environment, ancient ways and modern life, and argued that it encompasses both the rational and logical, the irrational and illogical. Thus it has advantages over sciences in coping with the reality (Feutchwang, 1978). It is worth noticing that Westerners' attitude toward Feng-shui parallels their awareness of worldwide ecological and environmental crisis. From the worldwide program of IBP (International Biological Program ) in 1960s, to the MAB (Man and the Biosphere Program) of 1970s, and to 1980s' IGBP (International Geosphere-Biosphere Program), and from the concept of ecosystem to that of THE (total human ecosystem) (Naveh and Lieberman, 1984; Naveh, 1991), the way modern ecologists deal with the relationship of man and nature has been increasingly closer to that of Feng-shui, which held the Chinese ideal that man should live in harmony with nature, and that human activities should be "designed with nature." The same ideal is admired and much striven after by modern environmentalists in general and landscape architects like McHarg (1969) in particular, and is still considered to be the "most important question" for today and in the future for the profession of landscape architecture (e.g. Corner, 1992). As for the quality of landscape as the result of Feng-shui practice, even the most vociferous scoffers could not but agree that places selected and arranged with Feng-shui were attractive. "There must be poetry in the Chinese soul after all," Storrs Turner gasped in admiration (cited in March, 1969). As at the same time he scorned Feng-shui as superstitious and absurd. Needman seems to be inspired when he accounts that " all through, it embodied, I believe, a marked aesthetic component, which accounts for the great beauty of the siting of so many farms, houses and village throughout China" (1956, p.361). "Anyone who has visited the tomb-temples of the Ming emperors in their group of exquisite valleys north of Peking will know something of what the geomancers, at their best, could do." (1962, p.240) The ecological and functional effect of Feng-shui landscape have also been noticed, as in trapping sunlight, keeping off wind, avoiding floods and choosing well drained sites while keeping water at convenient reach for daily use and irrigation, etc. (Freedman, 1966; Lip, 1979; Rossbach, 1983; Knapp, l986; 1989; 1992). In terms of psychological and sociological effects, Feng-shui is deeply woven into the fabric of Chinese society and individual life. It has been noticed that Feng-shui is closely associated with individual and group identity, confidence in life, social and political cooperation and competition, and group and national ideology (Marcel, 1922; Yang, 1970; Freedman, 1966; 1968; Feuchtwang, 1974; Bennett, 1978; Nemeth, 1978). It has been argued that reality image in Chinese eyes may not be shared by Westerners (Freedman, 1966; Feutchwang, 1974), and that Feng-shui is "a form of knowledge, a way of conceiving and perceiving reality and a way of dealing with reality" for the Chinese people (Feuchtwang, 1974, p.14). This suggests that: (1) on the one hand, Feng-shui can only be understood through the role it plays in Chinese life, because it is beyond the judgment of the Westerners' values and theories; (2) on the other hand, Feng-shui model may reveal a part of reality that goes beyond Westerners' experience, so by its combination with Western models, it may lead us to a more comprehensive understanding of "reality" as it is. Based on this conception, in this paper, I will analyze Feng-shui as a landscape design model, taking the hypothesis that it provides a way of place making and dwelling for the Chinese people, helps the Chinese people order the natural environment and society, facilitates the need for place identity, and finally enhances the mechanism of responsibility for places. Modern Western professionals may benefit from its unique models of understanding of processes and form in their making of places and attempts to a sustainable environment. Since Feng-shui can hardly be paralleled by other single disciplines in term of its volume of manuals, although a complete manual has never been translated and published in English, I will basically refer only to the classics of Feng-shui in following discussion , including The Burial Book (Zang Shu, by Guo Pu from fourth century AD) and classics by Yang Yun-Song ( ninth century, AD.). These classics largely defined the "form school" (divination through landscape pattern), which is of more interest and more relevant (compared to the direction school of Feng-shui ) to landscape design. These are most often cited and have been partly translated. (For Chinese sources in libraries in Western countries see Fetchwang, 1974; Walts, 1989; Xu, 1989). 2. Feng-shui as A Design Model In order to understand the Feng-shui model of design and place making systematically, a framework for inquiry that transcends different theories or models of design is required. The six-level framework of design processes suggested by Steinitz (1990) largely fulfills this need. His first three levels of design inquiry (representation model, process model and evaluation model) and second three levels of inquiry (change models, impact models, and decision models) contribute respectively to what McHarg called "a way of looking and a way of doing" (1969, p.1). It is argued here that the way of looking largely decides the way of doing. Thus my discussion will basically focus on the first three models: 2.1 Qi: The Process Model of Feng-shui The process across landscape concerned in Feng-shui is the movement and change of Qi ( Ch'i, literally air, gas, breath, etc.). Qi is a philosophical category of Chinese origin, its full implications cannot be adequately described by any single English word--or even a series of words. Several similar (not identical) phrases have been suggested in Western literature, among them are "cosmic breath" (Wheatley, p.419), "vital breath," the modern physical terms of "matter-energy," "emanation" (Needham, 1962), "telluric currents" (Skinner, 1980, p.5) and the Hebrew concept of "breath of life" (Skinner, 1982, p.14). Following the phenomenological approach, the author would suggest the Greek concept of genius loci , or "spirit of place" "the concrete reality man has to face and come to terms with in his daily life" (Norberg-Schultz, 1980, p.1). Qi is the holistic function of a total phenomenon which encounters human experience, which can not be reduced to any individual analytic "scientific" category, such as energy, material, radiation, etc. It is the "oneness" of the earth, the heaven, the divinities and the mortals, that envelops human experience in the lived-world (Fig. 2). Fig. 2 The process model of Feng-shui: Origin, mechanism and result of Qi The classic Burial Book uses a logic of "source--mechanism--result" to describe the origin, movement, change and function of Qi . Source: All things in the heaven, on the earth, originate from Qi of Yin (female) and Yang (male). Ontologically, Qi is elusive and invisible, it fills all over the universe. Man as a creature, a "thing," is also but a form of Qi (Fig. 2). This concept becomes the basis for Feng-shui to express the ideal that man and nature could be and should be in harmony. Mechanism: Although Qi itself is elusive and invisible when dispersing in the universe, it forms into visible and tangible things when accumulated. Into the heavens, the Yang (male)Qi accumulates into the celestial bodies; and down on earth, the Yin (female)Qi condenses into and moves in the form of landscapes. Between the earth and heaven, Qi thrills in wind, soars in cloud, surges in thunder and falls in rain and snow (The Burial Book). The seasonal and daily cycles are but the flow and change of Qi.. Even the spiritual and moral virtues of a person are considered to be of influence on , and influenced by, the state and flux of Qi (Fig. 2). So the state of Qi is a function of variables in all five dimensions (the four spatial and temporal dimensions plus the spiritual and moral dimension). This function has a set of satisfactory, or optimum, solutions called "living Qi" when all the variables match , i.e. when the heaven, the earth, the spirits and mortals are gathered harmoniously. Result: When and where living Qi gathers, which means various variables match one another harmoniously in terms of Yin -Yang balance, anything will flourish. Dwellers will be at peace, happy, wealthy and healthy. The ideal of "living in harmony" comes into being (Fig. 2). Ancestor worship is of central importance in family life. It constitutes the most important religious system in China ( Yang, 1969; Freedman, 1966), and Feng-shui is closely associated with ancestor worship. To the Chinese, death is but the continuation of life, the descendants are but the continuity of their dead ancestors. The dead forebears are thus treated as if they were alive, and the placement of the graves will therefore affect the fate of the descendants. The logic is that all things are but forms of Qi , and the dead and his descendants belong to the same Qi strain (genetic kinship). So the selection and arrangement of the graves are of no less importance than the living settlements, and their aims are the same: follow the natural order, catch and gather the living Qi . "Make known the virtue of the land, establish the ways of behavior, follow the change and processes, understand the beginning and the end, then reveal the essence of nature (a state of harmony)" (Qingnang Jin, a Feng-shui classic). The process of Qi addressed in Feng-shui , its origin, flow and change, accumulation, and gathering is the process of dwelling elaborated by Heidegger , the process of simple oneness of fourfold of heaven, earth, divinities and mortals (1977), which will be elaborated in later sections. 2.2 Living Qi: The Evaluation Model of Feng-shui It is believed that Qi disperses with wind and accumulates by water, which is what Feng-shui (wind and water) means (The Burial Book). At places that are windproof and water-retaining, Qi stays. Conceptually, a harmonious site where living Qi gathers should have "Azure (blue) dragon crooking to the left, White Tiger squatting to the right, Red Bird flying at the front and Black Tortoise bending at the back" ( The Burial Book) (Fig. 3): that is places embraced with rolling hills, backed by stretching mountains, welcomed by screening hills in the front, and greeted with flowing water at the foot (Fig.4-5). Fig. 3 The conceptual model of ideal Feng-shui ; Fig. 4 The ideal landscape model of Feng-shui Fig. 5 Good Feng-shui : Tian Tong Temple , Zhejiang Province For the structural elements that form the ideal landscape pattern, some basic formal and nonfigurative criteria are strengthened in all Feng-shui classics(TABLE 1), plus some resource factors. The resource factors are understandable and actually common sense in terms of agricultural ecology and hygiene, which leads some Westerners to judge Feng-shui either as no more than the complement of common sense (Eitel, 1873) or as a science that is based on rational natural laws (Johnson, 1881, Schlegel, 1890). Spatial criteria seem to be more abstruse, leading to two opposite kinds of judgment on Feng-shui among Westerners: either ridiculous superstition or a transcendent myth that warrants further research. In terms of design these spatial evaluation criteria are worth noticing for their phenomenological quality in the experience and making of places. TABLE 1 .Structural elements of feng-shui landscape and their evaluation criteria [center][img]upload/paper/20039817465900.gif[/img][/center] The spatial structure of ideal Feng-shui landscape is basically a "Bottle Gourd" (Yu, 1990a-b): a cavity, enclosed either by hills or water or both, with only a small hole connecting the interior with the outside. That is one reason that Feng-shui is most applicable in South China's hilly land. 2.3 The Fractals of Box-within-Box : The Representation Model of Feng-shui Following and interwoven with the process model of Qi and the evaluation model of living Qi in a "Bottle Gourd," Feng-shui developed a holistic model of landscape representation: a model of " box-within-box": space (Bright Hall)--background (Qi Vein or dragon) that makes up the space - gap (Water Mouth) that joins the space with other spaces - specific space (Acupoint) within the space (TABLE 1). This is a "live-within" model which has been overwhelmingly used to interpret the landscapes throughout China. At the national scale, three main mountain ranges were recognized that originate from the common single Kun Lun Mountain divided by two main rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtz River. In a good Feng-shui form, these dragons enclosed a great plain, the Central Yellow Plain, which is the place of the "Middle Kingdom" ( China), the capitals of which were usually backed by the main Qi Veins at the edge of the plain, and surrounded with water (Fig. 6) . Fig. 6 Feng-shui interpretation for the national capitals: (a) Nanking and (b)Peking At the regional or sub-regional level, the Bright Hall could be a basin of tens to hundreds of kilometers in size, and the Acupoint is where the capital of a prefecture or the seat of a county located. The Water Mouth is then the outlet of the basin, the Qi Vein is the sub-trunk from the main Qi Vein of the nation. The same model is used to represent the physical landscapes of villages, temples, individual houses and graves . The spatial repetition of this basic landscape representation model has "created," or rather ordered, Chinese landscape into a hierarchical pattern of a box-within-box, fractals with a common structural format that repeats in space and transcends scales (Fig. 7-8). Fig.7 Box-within-box: county seats in An Hui Province as represented in the prefecture annals (Qing Dynasty) Fig. 8 Fractals of settlements: landscape as represented in Feng-shui 3. The Making of Dwelling Places: The Essence of Feng-shui The experience of places, their meanings and significance in environmental design has become a main focus of phenomenology (Norberg-Schulz, 1971, 1980, 1988; Relph, 1976; Tuan , 1977; Seamon, 1982; Seamon and Mugerauer, 1985). On the one hand, places facilitate the concentration of our intentions, our attitudes, purposes and experience; on the other hand, places serve as locales or foci, they are ordered cosmos, the sacred space, set apart from chaos (Eliade, 1959). Norberg-Schulz (1980) argued that each place has its own genius or spirit. The root of genius loci lies in the processes and structure of natural landscape. Human intervention and construction will be most successful when it identifies genius loci and is in tune with it. The process of construction, or building was phenomenologically represented by Heidegger as dwelling. And the basic character of good dwelling is to spare, to preserve (Heidegger, 1977). The phenomenological concept of places and dwelling, is helpful for us to attain a clearer idea of how Feng-shui helps the Chinese people make landscape into places. The following discussion will reveal four main points about Feng-shui as a model of place-making: (1) Feng-shui makes places by following the natural order and processes, coming to terms with natural forces, keeping and enhancing the order of nature. (2) Feng-shui contributes to the construction of a microcosm at which lies the foci of human concentration. The system of places is organized around the system of social order and human concentration. (3) Feng-shui helps to establish a hierarchy of sense of identity with places, or a hierarchy of "insideness" (Relph, 1976) to individual dwellers, families, communities, and the Chinese people as a whole, which is developed through the infusion of the hierarchies of physical landscapes and social order. (4) The experience of place-making and a sense of place make possible caring for and preserving of the landscape among Chinese people, which contributes to the achievement of sustainable environment and communities (Fig. 9). [center][img]upload/paper/200398175037172.gif[/img][/center] 3.1 A Place in Natural Order The most widely noted aspect of Feng-shui is that it emphasizes the observation of and respect for natural forces and order (Bennett, 1978; March, 1968; Lip, 1979; Skinner, 1982 ). A place is where living Qi exists , where wind has its way and water has its course. The curvilinear and undulating configurations of the landforms, caused by these non-catastophic erosional natural processes, are always favored (Fig. 10, Table 1). Human intervention can only be successful when the natural processes and patterns are kept and enhanced. . Human efforts will be involved where necessary, but in very limited ways such as the erection of Feng-shui pagoda , or placement of symbolic artifacts, at the purpose of strengthenning the given order, or remedying the defects of the natural fabric. The defects might be the result of unharmonious natural processes or unfitting cultural intervention. Fig. 10 A typical rural settlement: Guangdong Province(photo by the author) 3.2 Fractals of Places Organized Around Social Hierarchy As is discussed above, using the representation model of "Box-within-Box," the physical landscape is ordered at the national, regional and local scales in a hierarchical order. Lying within the system of places created by Feng-shui are foci of human experience. "Where people dwell is a site (Acupoint) ......From military district and nation, down through sub-prefecture, commandery, county, and municipality to villages, wards, public buildings, blocks, and even the habitations of solitary hermits in the hill -- all these are examples (of geomancy sites). Great trunks are the dragons of commanderies and counties, generals and ministers.....(Beyond the place where branches have separated off) the trunk, if it has a structure, may still yield a second or third rank, as may be distinguished according to the height of the structure. As for minor branches, they are good only for wealth and progeny" (The Yellow Emperor Burial Book, see March, 1968 for English trans.). For the traditional Chinese there are actually two inseparable systems of dwelling that are almost equally important in their life. Around both, systems of places are organized. One is that of the living (Fig. 8); the other is that of the dead including graves and ancestral halls - from that of the closest forebears to the founding ancestors of the village, to some high official rank holder or remote ancestors who had great merits when they were alive, and at last to the Yellow Emperor, the common ancestor of the Chinese people as is commonly seen in Chinese genealogy (e.g. Meskill, 1970). In the ordering of living dwelling systems, government administration plays a role. The awareness of places is also related to local markets of goods exchanges (Tuan, 1977,167-69). But more or less, at least at local scale, land and other physical features of places are inevitably associated with segmentation of lineage; and dwelling patterns and social groupings are associated with the ancestor cult, especially in the agriculturally most productive area in South China (Freedman, 1966; Portter, 1970). Local belief and cults may also be involved with worship for some deceased administrators who when alive were well regarded by the local people, the memorial hall dedicated to a late county magistrate may become the apex in the local Yin Dwelling system . Thus the sense of place hierarchy formed around the living dwelling and that formed along the experience of ancestor graves and worship halls are overlapped. Individuals live within this system of places, their experience being under the influence of the geomancy of a series of more and more inclusive entities. 3.3 The Fractals of Identity Identity of place can be achieved through different ways or different aspects that contribute to the sense of places. It can be achieved through the distinctive physical image of the place (Lynch, 1960, p.8) ; or through the degree of the "unselfconscious intentionality," the degree of "insideness" of human experience "(Relph, 1976), e.g. through the degree of exclusiveness of symbol system used in the ordering and interpretation of the places; or "by dramatizing the aspirations, needs, and functional rhythms of personal and group life" (Tuan, 1977, p.178). However, all these aspects of place identity are inseparable. "It is nature and culture together, as interacting processes, that render a place particular" (Spirn, 1988). The identity of places created by Feng-shui effectively interweaves the identity of natural landscape or the given identity, human intentions and activities, and symbolic meanings. The more and more inclusive physical space and groupings, plus a more and more inclusive symbolic system, produce a hierarchy of place identity. The most exclusive level of identity is the place of a family, which can maintain its distinctiveness through the enclosed living space of a quadrangle of compound house with a common courtyard in a favorable form suggested by Feng-shui . The experience of "insideness" of the family members can be strengthened through distinctive orientation of the building, specific site related to the surrounding landscape features, and symbolic design of the family pond, bridge, etc. (Fig. 11). Close ancestral halls or graves provide another facility for family identity. Spatially, through the model of interpretation, the Feng-shui landscape of the graves is conjoined with the living settlement of the family. The graves may be located at the site that overlook and embraces the land of the family, or directed to the living site of the descendants, and the hill that the dead ancestors dwell is called family-hill (Fig. 12). Even a Feng-shui tree that was planted by the ancestor contributes to the identity of a family. The common fortune that induced by the good Feng-shui of the common ancestors' graves ties the members in the family together. They all belong to the land that has been defined and reclaimed by their ancestors. Competition between brothers may also be associated with the arrangement of Feng-shui landscape (Freedman, 1966). However, under the common ancestor and family hill, compromise will prevail when the family lineage must act as a whole. Fig. 11 A courtyard house of one family with symbolized surroundings (Guangdong Province, photo by the author) Fig. 12 The ancestor grave and family hill of Chen family, with famous and wealthy descendants in Hong Kong, overlooking the rich fields with symbolized landforms (Guangdong Province) Another level of intensive identity of place is the villages that account for the greatest portion of Chinese population. Socially, "every village is a little principality by itself" (Smith, 1899, p.226), and physically, in hilly land each village has its own dragon hill from which the village gets the living Qi (Fig. 13). The surrounding land forms and water courses are all named and given meanings which are associated with the village. The same peak or stream shared by different villages can bear different names relating to each village. The Water Mouth is the most significant spot and also most controllable, and gates or distinctive constructions are erected to induce and lock in living Qi and keep off evil forces. They could be gateways in memory of a high-ranking minister from this community who had achieved merit in his official career, or gateways that show respect for the chaste and undefiled character of young widows, or the filial piety of sons . They could be a stele which recorded the visit of some minister or a poem some hundred years ago. Under a big tree or in front of a bridge at the Water Mouth, community members gather unselfconsciously for shade in mid-summer, for sun in winter, for news from the towns. All these create a sense of "insideness" among the individual members in the village. He is confident with the good Feng-shui that had brought this village a glorious past and can, equally, bring his village, and himself a prosperous future. Fig.13 Village dragon hills and feng-shui pattern, Hong Cun village, Anhui Province Usually members in the natural villages or compacted settlements were composed of male agnate descendants of a single ancestor together with their unmarried sisters, or at least one single lineage dominated a village (Freedman, 1960). A village in many cases is an expanded family, with a common founding ancestor who first settled in this land. An ancestral hall would be built at a specific site with dominant Feng-shui - the fortunes of the whole lineage or village are affected by the siting of this ancestral hall. While each individual family and member of the village looks to the Feng-shui of their own closest ancestors' graves for success, their fortune is at a broader scale associated with the more commonly shared Feng-shui, on which an above-family level of identity of "insideness" is achieved and strengthened through regular sacrifices which draws all members together. Where more than one family shares the land, the relationship between these two levels of identity (family level and community level) can also be well established through careful arrangement and interpretation of Feng-shui landscape (Fig. 14). Fig. 14 Graves of two families (Tang and Zhao) share the same Qi , in the author's home town, Zhejiang province. Both families have descendants with high rank scholars, an example cited by many Feng- shui annuals for the effect of Feng-shui landscape A more inclusive level of place identity is the county, which is the major market within one day's round trip for the villagers. Physically, a county as a place is identified with the surrounding landscape, which is represented and organized through Feng-shui model. Again, manmade structure such as Feng-shui pagodas are commonly used to strengthen the natural Feng-shui pattern . Any county annals would give special priority to the identification and description of the identity of its natural and cultural landscape. In his Picturesque China (1923), which is based on his travels in China between 1906-09, Boersman described his rich "Feng-shui experience" of county and provincial seats : "They are mostly situated on the northern bank of the stream, and are built on the mountain slopes. They are especially favorably situated if they are on the mouth of a tributary river. Many towns......possess nearly all conditions of a very appropriate position. ......It is a counterpoise of the great Feng-shui Pagoda of the town which rises on a mountain in a distant spot to the south-east on the other side of the river....The mountain ridge stands for a spirit wall, and is decorated with temples and sacred objects. At the same time it keeps off evil influences, and its sacredness permeates the town. The desire to sanctify a beautiful site, and to add to its glories by erecting fine buildings, is evident in the planning of these towns....."(p. XVII). From these, he, an "outsider," felt "the unity of man with nature; his dependence on her" (P. v). Obviously, he well recognized the place identity of the county and prefecture seats, and the contribution of Feng-shui to such physical identity. A more intensive sense of place identity can be expected among the insiders who can understand (at least better than the foreigners) the more exclusive symbolic systems used in Feng-shui to order the landscape and interact with natural processes. The most inclusive sense of place identity is that at the national scale, with the well defined common space of the Middle Kingdom; the good Feng-shui landscape of the capitals (Fig. 6) and the Forbidden Cities, the "pivot of four" (Wheatley, 1971; Meyer, l976; Wright, 1977) and the Feng-shui of the royal mausoleum . But perhaps most important for the national identity of place, is the common Feng-shui language and symbol system used to interpret and understand the natural processes (Qi) (Fig. 2; Table 1), as well the common Chinese ancestors of the Three Kings and Five Emperors whose graves were continuously worshipped by emperors, ministers and common people . 3.4 The Hierarchy of Responsibility in Caring for and Preserving of the Land Identity of a place implies belonging, and full responsibility for the place where man dwells. The hierarchy of sense of place identity implies a hierarchical responsibility for places, and caring and preserving for natural landscape and resources. In a country with the world's largest population, comprised basically of peasants, with a mountainous land the same size as the US., but no more than one third of which is arable, such a hierarchy of responsibility is extremely important. The fall of most ancient civilizations are more or less attributed to the ecologically imprudent exploitation of natural resources (see Wheatley, 1971). The fact that the Chinese agricultural civilization is the only ancient one that has survived for thousands of years into modern time, indicates that at least in a certain sense, the success of such a hierarchy of caring and sparing contributes greatly to environmental sustainability and social sustainability in China. Vegetation is considered in Feng-shui as the hair of the Mother Earth; the natural land form and soil are the bones and flesh; and water is the blood. So to keep the living Qi is to protect the vegetation, keep water clean, protect land form from being torn and soil from being exhausted. It is also important to notice that individual responsibility is encouraged by Feng-shui in caring for the landscape far beyond their property boundaries. Fig. 14 shows how two families Tang and Zhao share the same dragon mountain for their ancestor graves and distribute responsibility for the landscapes. At the higher level, the protection of the dragon mountain will involve the responsibility of all members of the two families and perhaps more families that have their Qi stemmed from the same mountain. Only the lowest level of an individual grave and its immediate surroundings, will be exclusively owned and managed by the corresponding family. At the village and or multi-village level, responsibility and caring for landscape and resources is also hierarchically distributed. Fig. 15 is an example of how the use and caring for water resources have been rationed between communities. The common spring is the only water source for two villages. The flow has been divided into ten equal parts flowing through ten holes. Seven of them are directed to the bigger village in the north and the other to the smaller village in the south. Such a rationing pattern is the result of long fighting and negotiating, and the involvement of local government. The fact is that the common life spring is well protected at the higher level by all local residents. The divided flow then becomes the common Qi Vein for individual families in each community, and a further allotment system is developed among individual families. This way, the "tragedy of commons" (Hardin, 1968) can be avoided (Yu, 1992). Fig 15 The common spring shared by two villages with a rationing system: Taiyuan, Shanxi Province (photo by the author) The Feng-shui forests on the dragon hills or at the Water Mouths are usually as old as the villages. They were preserved or planted by the founding ancestors of the villages, and since then have been protected as the common sacred groves by all members in the villages (Yu, 1992). Any destruction of the Feng-shui forests by any individual would not only harm his neighbors, thus making him the target of public criticism, but will also result in the loss of his own fortune as is believed. At the higher level of responsibility, the protection of a county's dragon hills, Water Mouth and other Feng-shui landscape elements is an important concern of the county magistrates and local gentry whose fate is certainly associated with the common Feng-shui of the county. Following is a call from the local gentry and county officials for the protection of their common Feng-shui from being destroyed by "outsiders" and local "worthless fellows" who had coal and limestone mining in the surrounding hills. Such calls for preservation are ubiquitous in any county's annals, thus worth noticing: "Prohibition of coal mining and lime making in hills of Yi County: Yi County is surrounded with hills to four sides, layers over layers, with clear order and fabric. Anywhere in these hills, people dwell in communities and have their graves. Hills were rich in coal , our ancestors did not dig from them for benefits but spared and protected them, because coal and limestone mining leads to stripping off of top soil, which will then be washed away with rain water, and damage the crop fields nearby and silt the rivers. All those who come here in groups for coal are non-natives.... They dig anywhere without care for the Feng-shui, which is harmful to the graves. For all these considerations, we call for prohibition of these hills from being damaged, and keep trees and bamboo for the natural benefits that man can enjoy". And " In order to spare these hills forever from being exploited, the only way is to have them confiscated". As a result, the critical hills at the Water Mouth, along the main dragon ridges, or hills with graves were donated to the Academy of Classical Learning and were cared and protected as public property (Annals of Yi Xian County, An Hui province, Qing Dynasty, Vol. 11, 15, trans. by the author). Royal guard troops were involved, and a special ministry was established for the protection of the West Hills and Yan-shan Mountain range as the Qi Vein of the family of the Ming emperors, where thirteen emperors were buried. . The scale of the protected area is far beyond the immediate surrounding of the royal mausoleum. Any digging, mining or tree cutting will lead to severe punishment . The Qi Vein of the royal family is also the Qi Vein of the nation and the people. The Chinese character for country (Guo-Jia) literally means "country-home" or "nation-family," implying that family is the nation, the country is the home. The nation is an expanded family lineage; the emperor is the son of the heaven, and the father of the people. So the fate of the people was associated with the Feng-shui of the living and the burial sites of the emperors. The protection of the national dragons (mountain ranges) where the capital and royal family get the living Qi were thus also the responsibility of the common people. In the sense of sustainability, such a hierarchy of identity, responsibility and caring for the landscape as home and places at various scale had been effective in China, especially when taking into consideration the huge population and the comparatively little arable land (Yu, 1992). As Boerschmann (1923) noted in his journey: " Everything is perpetually glorified by the gentle light of love of nature to whom one is so devotedly thankful" (p. V). And such a sentiment of landscape preservation was so intense that any alien change in the landscape may provoke local, regional or even national protest and violence, which were commonly encountered by the early Christian missionaries and colonists (APPENDIX). 5. Discussion and conclusion Catching our attention is the uniqueness of the model of place making in Feng-shui and its actual function in promoting the sense of responsibility and caring for the landscape, which may go beyond real property boundaries. As a design model, Feng-shui is an organic (in terms of process), live-within (in terms of evaluation), and box-within-the -box model (in terms of representation), in contrast with the analytic, view-from-above and point-line-area models which dominate Western approaches to landscape analysis and design (APPENDIX). The point here is not about inferior or superior of these two models, but about difference in ways of man's understanding, interprating and functioning in landscapes. In the Feng-shui model, landscape elements are inseparable from any others, i.e. an Acupoint can not exist without Qi Vein, a Water Mouth is meaningful only because of the existence of the enclosing wall around the Bright Hall, a space without enclosing walls and Water Mouth will not gather living Qi or only be occupied by torpid Qi, just as a dragon (Qi Vein) without an Acupoint Point within. These structural elements are like parts of the human body, and only in an integrated living body can the living Qi exist. Landscape elements are categorized not by their degree of homogeneity, but their function and spatial location in forming an organic unit. In contrast, the point-line-area model is an analytical model, landscape categorization and classification is based on the degree of homogeneity. A patch in landscape ecology is a homogeneous unit (at a certain scale), and each structural element is analyzed separatelly before the interrelationship between elements is addressed. If we use the "figure/ground" relationship (Toth, 1988) to describe the difference across the East and West models in landscape representation, I will argue that Western models go directly to the "figure," while the Feng-shui model turns to the ground for location, image and function of the figure. The Feng-shui model seeks a "live-within" space of peace and harmony, a defensive "inside," while the point-line-area model a way to "look from above," or a "scanning over" image. Behind this Western model is the motive of exploration and expansion, visualized in a pattern with start points, dispersal corridors that connect intermediate nodes and leading to the ending points, which in turn becomes the start points of further exploration. In Feng-shui model, the place, the Acupoint, is where man enjoys his everlasting peaceful sedentary living; the Qi Vein is the facility that brings what he needs (living Qi) from the outer world; the enclosing wall and the narrow Water Mouth are the facilities to protect the cherished eternal peace. Behind this model is the ideal of peaceful and sedentary life as vividly expressed by Lao Zhi in his Tao Te Ching (Chapter 80) "Let the people return to the use of knotted cords (for keeping records). Let their food be sweet, their clothing beautiful, their homes comfortable, their rustic tasks pleasurable. The neighboring state might be so near at hand that one could hear the cocks crowing and dogs barking in it. But the people would grow old and die without ever having been there" . As a landscape design model, Feng-shui is nonscientific, or pre-scientific, and is based on experience. It is out side the judgment of scientific criteria. The value of Feng-shui model lies in its function in interpreting, selecting and making of places for the Chinese people. In this process of place making, it keeps the dwellers satisfied and at peace, promotes their sense of identity, encourages caring for their landscapes. The spatial model of Feng-shui may give modern landscape architects some fresh "Qi". Instead of merely using Western spatial vocabulary and language, especially the structural model of point-line-area (Toth, 1988), I suggest a combination of both East and Western models to organize our information and knowledge and orient our observations. The integration of these two different models might lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the pre-scientific and experiential landscapes, as well as the scientific and analytical landscapes. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks are due to Karen Madesen, Mimi Truslow and Carl Steinitz and for their reading and comments for the drafts. The author benefits greatly through constant discussion with Carl Steinitz; Stephen Ervin and Richard T. T. Forman.

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