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From Courtyard House to Block Apartment
Directed by Wynette Yao
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FROM COURTYARD HOUSE TO BLOCK APARTMENT studies a pivotal moment in Taiwanese history: the abrupt transition from traditional to modern housing on Taiwan, home to 19 million people.

A rural clan celebrating the coming of autumn provides a glimpse of the courtyard way of life that is nearing extinction in urban areas. The courtyard house is giving way to Western style block apartments as the rapid industrialization of the last two decades has disrupted traditional patterns of living and housing.

FROM COURTYARD HOUSE TO BLOCK APARTMENT examines the reasons for these changes and how the Taiwanese have adjusted to new patterns of form and space.


"Excellent... The film is able to give the sense of the Chinese much better than text alone." —Dr. Ronald G. Knapp, author of 'China's Rural Architecture'

"With an excellent eye for detail [Yao] contrasts traditional rural clan (lineage) houses with modern urban apartments in Taipei, Taiwan... Although almost any general audience should find this video interesting, it is most appropriate for college courses in urban sociology, Chinese area studies, religion, and social-cultural anthropology." —C.F. Emmons, Choice Magazine

"Although the apartments are cramped and ugly, a visit to one family home reveals how ingeniously the occupants have salvaged what they can of the past by adapting traditional customs and habits to fit the modern environment. Recommended." —Landers Film Reviews

"An illuminating glimpse of Chinese architecture and culture, as well as the flexibility of its people." —Booklist

1987 Asian American Video Festival

23 minutes / Color
Release: 1987
Copyright: 1987

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Subject areas:
Architecture, Asia, China, East Asia, Urban Planning & Design

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