Development of Tradition Chinese Interior Design: Analytical Essay

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In the middle of the twentieth century, Europe experienced the disasters of World War I and World War II. A lot of urban facilities, buildings, and houses were damaged. Architects who both engaged in architectural design and interior design no longer have time to double as interior design, so a new profession-interior design emerged. Their work is valued by the European architecture community and continues to this day. Compared with Europe, the birth of our interior design is nearly half a century later. For most of the modern functional buildings, when they appeared on the Chinese soil, thousands of years of Chinese architectural traditions were interrupted. While this interruption marked the beginning of new Chinese architecture. Chinese style is a Chinese classical interior design art style represented by palace architecture. Chinese traditional interior design combines solemnity and elegance. The Chinese style makes more use of post-modern methods, combining traditional structural forms with another national characteristic symbol through redesign and combination. For example, a set of mahogany furniture in the Ming and Qing dynasties was placed in the hall, and a Chinese landscape painting was hung on the wall. In the short century of the 20th century, China’s interior design major has grown from nothing, from small to large, and has grown at a rapid rate to a relatively large professional scale. The social needs driven by the general public have become a powerful driving force for professional development, and modern technology has become the foundation for professional development, which has promoted the development of the design profession that eventually meets human needs as the termination goal. Therefore, the content throughout the essay is the evolution of interior design in mainland China in the 20th and 21th century. Although the development of China’s modern architectural design and interior design has been repeated, risen and fallen, it has always been advancing along the tortuous road of ‘modern’ and reached an unprecedented glory at the end of the century. At the end of the 20th century, with the continuous recovery of the Chinese economy, various design concepts have emerged in the construction industry. It can be said that the various design trends in Europe have been repeated again in China, and the accompanying Chinese style design has also immersed in numerous designers’ design philosophy. Chinese architectural and interior design in the early 21st century has a trend of revival of Chinese style. Everything on this world would change as time flows, there are several factors in the evolution of interior design in Chinese history included social factors of traditional Chinese cultural identity, Changes and needs of modern people’s aesthetic consciousness, inheritance of traditional arts and development of modern science and technology and no doubt it is still developing in nowadays China.

Old traditional Chinese style

There is a point of view in the western interior design community: ‘Without Chinese elements, there is no luxury.’ For example, a cheongsam shows elegance when someone wears it, it also shows dignity when it is worn on other people, it reflects the Implicit temperament of Chinese traditional culture. This is actually the most tempting thing in Chinese style. The old traditional Chinese style is an artistic style of interior decoration design of Chinese classical architecture represented by palace architecture. It is magnificent, luxurious, high space, brilliant, carved beams and columns with exquisite symmetry, color and contrast. There are few main elements that show on the old traditional Chinese interior design. The architecture of ancient interior design in China began with overall tone, marble material, carving, antique screen, wooden furniture, and decorations that demonstrating the power and status of Chinese.

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Elements of old traditional Chinese style

Chinese style interior design emphasizes momentum, so the first condition is that the space must be large enough to accommodate many large furniture and decorations. In addition, due to the deep color of the Chinese style design, the sense of space of the house will be reduced, so this type of style is more suitable for houses with a large number of floors or open spaces. Chinese culture often emphasizes calm and low-key. We can see this from the main color of the design. As just mentioned, the color of Chinese style interior design will be darker than other styles, usually dark red, dark wood and brown. Generally speaking, the designer will use dark wood to lay the ceiling, floor or wall, and match it with the corresponding wooden furniture, such as Chinese furniture made of dark red rosewood or brown elm.

Wood is generally the most commonly used decorative fabric in Chinese style. However, as stone is becoming more and more popular, more and more people also like to incorporate high-grade stone into interior decoration. Chinese style often presents an elegant feeling. The marble texture is elegant and unique, giving the impression that it is also noble and elegant. Marble is very suitable for decorating the main wall of the living room, like the design example in the picture. However, it should be noted that because the texture of the marble itself is very complicated, at this time, the furniture or decorations we choose should be simplified, so as not to make the space look too focused and dazzling.

There is another very common decoration method in Chinese style-carving. Traditional Chinese-style decoration design will have wood carved doors and windows and carved furniture. This is a low-key and aesthetically pleasing decoration method, which is especially suitable for decorating the walls of the home. Decoration materials are based on Wood, with patterns carved such as dragons, phoenixes, turtles, lions, etc. However, Chinese style decoration is relatively expensive and lacks modern flavor, so it can only be used in home decoration.

Screens have been around since ancient times. That’s because houses in ancient times were not as strong as modern reinforced concrete houses, so the ancients started to make screens, unless they were behind the bed or on both sides of the bed. Reach the effect of wind protection. The interior decoration of traditional Chinese buildings mostly adopts partition fans and screen doors to decorate, which can both ventilate and light and divide the space. The decorative materials are made of porcelain, gray plastic, ceramic, and lacquer. These traditional decorative design techniques are often borrowed from modern interiors.

The important element of Chinese Zen style design is ‘natural materials and simple lines’, so the design should also ‘try to use clean lines and natural materials, and use natural wood and weathered veneer as much as possible.’ Since ancient times, wood has been the raw material for building houses or making furniture. In addition to being related to local resources, this is also due to the relationship of the concept of ‘nature and human in one’ emphasized in Chinese culture. The ancients believed that the universe is naturally a big world, and man is a small world. Man and nature are essentially connected, so everything should follow the laws of nature in order to achieve harmony between man and nature. From this we can see that since ancient times, people like to be close to nature and integrate nature into the daily life environment. Therefore, it is not difficult to find that the furniture used in Chinese homes is always natural wood.

For Chinese home decoration, the design method of expressing pure mood is the most important. The traditional Chinese elements of modern design soften the Chinese style to create a new Chinese design integrated into one. This concept of ‘fusion’ runs through the whole space. Every corner interprets the unique flavor of the new Chinese style. The elegant antique landscape painting is elegant, which can reflect the elegant taste of the owner. It can be used in bedrooms, tea houses, living rooms, etc. The artistic conception creates an elegant spiritual palace. It brings out the low-key luxury but extremely ritual atmosphere of Chinese homes with embellishing with furnishing art such as landscape paintings. Lanterns are a well-known symbol of festivals, worship and peace for most Chinese people. They can be made of wood, bamboo, wood, rattan, silk or paper, and decorated with Chinese calligraphy, embroidery, painting and paper cutting. In addition to the Chinese painting and lantern, log decorations, jade, orchids, or paper fans are also some of the decorations with a very oriental flavor.

What factors changed the old traditional Chinese style?

In late 20th century, the old Chinese style started to be affected and change due to few reasons. Social factors of traditional Chinese cultural identity. Design has a variety of expressions in different countries and different nationalities. Each country and nation has its own unique cultural concept, which directly or indirectly reflects the characteristics of the country or nation in various design activities. The design culture of any country more or less reflects their desire to pursue self and perfection, which is related to its long history and far-reaching cultural background. As a large country with a history of 5,000 years with distinctive national characteristics, the design culture or art culture we have has changed with the changes of the times, but its essence can be traced back to the ancient Taoist thought, the pursuit of man and nature Harmonious and beautiful atmosphere. Today, the scope of design culture’s expansion is also getting wider and wider, and mutual communication is close. China’s construction of local design culture must not only strengthen the input of design styles of various nationalities, but also pay attention to the output of local design culture, and exchange and learn with other countries. We must learn from the excellent culture of other countries and seek a sense of identity with our own culture. With the awakening of national consciousness in China, people are not only satisfied with the demand for material culture, but also gradually began to pursue spiritual culture, which promoted the maturity of the new Chinese interior design style. In the 20th century, people were studying abroad and yearning abroad, but they forgot the native culture unconsciously. The opening of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the presentation of the China Pavilion, not only showed its charm to the world, but also won praise and recognition from people from all countries. It contains the rich cultural heritage of a country and a nation, and the new Chinese style will receive more and more attention. As a national and creative interior design style, it will become a mainstream of design style.

Changes and needs of modern people’s aesthetic consciousness. People’s high requirements for cultural connotation, aesthetic value, artistic style, etc., and people’s aesthetic level shifted to a more profound direction. For some people with outstanding personalities, they are not satisfied with the paleness and weakness of modern style details, and hope to give them a special cultural connotation; while for others, they are keen to accept the traditional Chinese national style and pursue simplicity in style, but they are not satisfied. Complexity of style and flaws in function. Modern design not only integrates traditional culture, new science and technology makes up for many traditional cultural defects, but also extends modern design thinking.

Inheritance of traditional arts and development of modern science and technology. Throughout historical development, Chinese interior design has always paid attention to and pursued cultural characteristics and ideology. This unique interior design idea has been retained and continuously evolved. It not only requires the design environment to purify people’s hearts, but also reflects the combination of real world and moral values in some ways. In a sense, the new Chinese interior design style is both an inheritance of Chinese traditional culture and a development and extension of it. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand or even think that the new Chinese interior design style is the inheritance and expansion of the artistic temperament and spiritual connotation in the traditional Chinese style. The support and guarantee of design depend on technology. A good design is not only idea and inspiration, but also methods, techniques and equipment for creating entities. Therefore, with the rapid development of science, culture and technology, we have a better design environment and capabilities and progress of various new materials and new technologies. Not only expanded the scope of design for us, but also broadened the horizons of thinking in communication with designers from all over the world.


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