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Spatial Sensibilities:
Home Arrangement

(the spatial arrangements favored by Chinese)

A Chinese saying goes like this, "The host without secular ambition is shown by his carefully cultivated garden, which reflects clearly his literary mind."

The forms of human habitat have evolved from cave to shack, from shack to extravagant buildings. Such evolution reflected that humans have more expectations and demands from a mere roof as a habitat. However, the Chinese literati surpassed such materialistic constructions and pursued intellectual engineering to achieve a deeper level of construction in the mind. Their pursuit is reflected in their use of symbolic decorations and spatial arrangement, which revealed a much more unique interpretation of architecture.

Union of Human and Heaven
There are countless phenomena in nature. Chinese literati favored nature to be the ideal place for home where the mountains are surrounded with reels and creeks streaming alongside. This choice of a habitat was based on a belief that the meaning of life can be found by experiencing nature.

Rightful Manners and Respectable Dispositions
Chinese literati liked to use horticultural motifs such as seasonal plants (pine and bamboo), birds, and fish to express their belief of good virtues and manners. Some common associations are as follows:
Plum flowers and stones as purity and self-respect
Pine, bamboo, and crane as a mind with clear and bright principles
Violets, chrysanthemum, and banana leaves as simplicity and gracefulness
All of these are common decorations used in the literati's living space.

Delight and Enjoyment
Chess, riddles, tea, books and paintings were common entertaining materials for the literati. These materials inevitably played a role in the interior design of their living space.

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