Chapter ID: CBB719188989

Knowledge by Design—Architecture and Jade Models During the Qianlong 乾隆 Reign (1735–1796) (2017)


Archival household records and artifactual evidence suggest that the Qing emperors and ‘court officials’ use of models was part and parcel of a systematic appropriation of in-between communication devices in technical and artistic production. This essay analyses when and how officials and craftsmen employed models with a view on architecture and jade production. What made such sampling fashionable and what function did actors of the period assign to such devices for the circulation of aesthetic and technical concerns? Starting with a highly personal case of communication between the emperor and jade craftsmen the chapter shows how models became part of the standardization of methods of circulation across trade boundaries. Bureaucratic handling promoted the unification of descriptive and prescriptive modes that included both sketching and three-dimensional modeling. Clerks further explained material, size and color schemes on yellow strips attached to the model. In such bureaucratic procedures actors considered the aesthetic and technical information given in models conclusive and valid. Imperial workshops then functioned more as design bureaus than as producing sites per se.

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Book Matteo Valleriani (2017) The Structures of Practical Knowledge. unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Jami, Catherine
Hanson, Marta E.
Min, Zong-dian
Watanabe, Junsei
Ch'iu, Chung-lin
Asen, Daniel
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Zhongguo Keji Shiliao (China Historical Materials of Science and Technology)
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Lishi yuyan yanjiuso jikan (Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica)
Social History of Medicine
Nei Menggu Shifan Daxue Xuebao (Ziran Kexue Ban)
University of California Press
Oxford University Press
Princeton University
University of Hawai'i Press
Harvard University Press
Purdue University Press
East Asia, civilization and culture
Technology and culture
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Crafts and craftspeople
Kangxi, Emperor of China
Li Wenyu (1840–1911)
Zhu, Qiqian
Time Periods
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
18th century
17th century
19th century
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
Song Dynasty (China, 960-1279)
East Asia
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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