I personally find that the textbook mentions a few highlights of Chinese design. No one could deny that China in history had produced a large number of fine designs. From Blue and white porcelain to modern designs, the rich heritage of Chinese design is frankly exposed to the world. However, this part of history is missing from the textbook. More importantly, I. M. Pei is missing from the textbook. He is a Chinese-American architect, who inherited the classic beauty of Chinese design and the simple beauty of the Western design. From looking at his work of Suzhou Museum, people could clearly see what I am talking about. He is beyond an architect. Views from every perspective could form a beautiful layout.
Although he is not a graphic designer, he inspired the world and other designers to seek inspiration from the past. The way he uses water in his work, as a huge piece of mirror that reflects whatever view was showing. This opens up viewers’ visions in a quite creative way, however, this method had been used long time ago in garden design in China. Also, he applied one more ancient Chinese garden design method, which is letting the wall to be white. The idea of the white walls is using the walls as canvases, therefore, whatever is in the front of the wall or marks and stains left on the wall would form pieces of natural paintings. From these two approaches of his design, he lets us know that the old ways are not necessarily the wrong way, they could work better than the modern way if in the right context.
The other important perspective that he looks at his design is combining. He combines the old and the new; he combines the void and the solid; he also combines the oriental and the western. In the design of the Louvre Pyramid, we could clearly see it is a piece of modern architecture, but what is hidden is the design element he used. Using water as a mirror once again, to expand people’s visions. The other hidden element is the repeating of shape. Triangles are the shape that is repeated over and over. In ancient Chinese design, repetitive shapes make a pattern, and the pattern was important for ancient China. Since the status of people can be classified by the kinds of patterns. Triangle represents static. As a result, using repetitive triangles can give people a sense of firmness. He combines western materials with Chinese idealogy and he combines Chinese design with western idealogy.
There is a lot more to learn from him. His work is always impeccable no matter when. I wish him and his works were included in the textbook, so more people could get to know Chinese design.