Image of JNSX and Generative Design
Cao Peng, Ph.D Candidate
Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Based on describing the beauty of JNSX and expounding the problems during the protection and renewal of it, this paper raises a new way called color protection and makes a generative design by the use of computer.
2. Beauty of JNSX
JNSX, which includes Shaoxing, Zhouzhuang, Tongli and so on, is the whole region which is located in the south of the lower reaches of the Changjiang River, China. There are so many rivers in this region that almost every building is close to the riverbank. The walls of folk houses are washed white, and the tiles are dark. The region has a very long history. Made by the traditional idea “Man is an integral part of nature”, it has been an ideal residential district all along. Owning the unique natural landscape, living characteristic and local culture, JNSX is the excellent historic and cultural heritage. Including architects, people have been interested in it all the times. The art works that take JNSX as their themes, affect people with their powerful appeal.
In the sun, the JNSX is brilliant and colorful. White-washed walls and dark tiles, some mosses covering the foot of walls, chestnut doors and windows opening or closing, green weeping willows lined along the riverbank with strings of red lantern in it, bright yellow wooden boats, the boat-women in indigo, all of this compose the specific classic picture of JNSX, reflect its distinctive regional cultural appearance.
3. Problems nowadays
As time goes on, the folk houses and facilities in JNSX are aging unavoidably. Recently, the economic of JNSX has developed rapidly. The amounts of constructions have been increasing year by year. On this background, the protection and development of JNSX become one of the hottest topics in Chinese architecture circles. The dispute around being similar in form or in spirit has produced little result. Although the theory which prefer being similar in spirit gets the upper hand, the buildings which prefers being similar in form are constantly emerging. They just remain to imitate the symbol of folk houses. It makes the new buildings as fake antique, not embodying the time’s flavor. Even more, some buildings are not designed carefully. Their styles and colors are in disorder, which seriously impair the space quality of JNSX, and can not continue the traditional features of JNSX. All of that make it very grim to protect the features of it.
The culture of a region, is the result of historic sediment which has included its long inherited spirits and qualities. With time developing, we can not write off the traces of history, but to continue the culture and blend it into the times. The protection and renewals of JNSX should be helpful to people to read and understand it easier and clearer, to weed out the old to bring forth the new of culture values.
Therefore, under the new circumstances, it is very necessary to jump out of the convention, which only study the architectural entity. Through finding some other way, we try to continue the architectural contexts, not just to follow it.
4. Importance of colors
There is a kind of theory called “color theory of seven seconds”. It indicates the importance of color to impress people. Unique color using can stimulate people’s visual sense and feeling. By that, people can be impressed deeply only in seven seconds.
The French scientist Jean Philippt Lenclos advanced the “color geography” theory. He thinks there is a certain relation between the region and color. The different geographical conditions create different regional color. It has been confirmed in such cities as red Siena, gray Paris, gold Venice, etc.
In China, there are very distinctive regional characteristics in JNSX. During a period of considerable length, the form of JNSX is very stable. Living in it for a long time, people have got a comprehensive image, about it, that can make them be aware of its intrinsic meaning. Besides the architectural entity, the color of JNSX is also important to strengthen people’s image of JNSX.
The color is a very important part of JNSX to form its glamour. There is a contrast between white wall and dark tile, a well-blended color between the rivers and the sky. Due to its rivers network, white wall and dark tile, and wooden colors, JNSX possesses its distinctive regional characteristics. Its hues, brightness and the color compositions, all of this can carry people back to the old times of JNSX. To develop it does not care about its form or structure, but to strengthen a kind of spirit, a atmosphere.
Compared to the entity, the color is a different manifestations, which has a broader scope. It can not be described accurately by words, but more helpful to express a feeling, to look for a eternal spirit. To colors, they do not care about the lifelike details, but the general visual feelings. They show people more an image than an architectural form. To do so makes it be a higher level.
In modern cities, there are so many buildings. It is beyond people’s ability to distinguish between the building’s styles and their colors. Those cultural spirits which hid in the building’s colors have elapsed during the course of industrialization. As a result, to study the regional color does not only promote the pluralism of culture, but also be useful to continue the internal regional spirits.
The culture of JNSX is a complex system. We should broaden our horizons to understand its inherent law. As colors being an essential factor, to study it has active practical significance in the protection and renewal of JNSX.
Based on this idea, the author strives to free from the simple rigid imitation of exterior during the course of traditional area protection. Through refining all sorts of color of JNSX, studying their distributions by the computer, I hope to provide a new view for it, and present a new water town’s image of today. I call it as “color protection”.
5. How to do this research
The research is divided into two parts. One is color collection. Another is refining and processing. The colors are from the buildings, tiles, landscape facilities, and environment, which includes the sky, rivers, bridges and so on.
1. the collection of JNSX’s photoes.
2. to narrow the range of colors by the use of the software Photoshop -
3. use the software Photoshop→magic(make the tolerance as 20) →select similar color→to form many pictures and calculate the area of each picture(there is only single hue in it), then convert it into scale of the whole picture
4. to make a program, make the color block realigning at random→form many abstract picture, the image of JNSX
 GA: http://www.generativeart.com/
 GA: http://www.celestinosoddu.com/