Postgraduate-level disciplines (for now): one national key discipline (Fine Art); two Beijing municipal key disciplines (Fine Art and Design); two Beijing municipal key laboratories (Printmaking Studio and Photography Studio); three first-level disciplines with authority of granting doctoral degree (Art Theory, Fine Art and Design); three first-level disciplines with authority of granting master’s degree (Architecture, Urban and Rural Planning and Landscape Architecture); two categories of professional master''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s degree: Master of Arts (Fine Art and Art Design) and Master of Landscape Architecture. Since 2003, our Academy has been approved to establish three postdoctoral research centers for Art Theory, Fine Art and Design studies.
Brief Introduction on Fine Art Discipline
As the earliest established fine art college after the founding of People’s Republic of China, the Central Academy of Fine Arts has always taken fine art discipline as its major subject of teaching and research. In its different stages, whether it is the Beijing Fine Arts School established in 1918, the National Peiping Art College established in 1946, or the Central Academy of Fine Arts established in 1950, the fine art discipline has always been the foundation of the school. Among all fine art academies, our academy’s fine art discipline is the earliest established and most influential one and has always been in the leading position among all the counterparts.
1. Position and Target
No matter in which historical stage, the priority of Central Academy of Fine Arts has always been to promote the development of Chinese fine art and fine art discipline, and to make Chinese fine art stand erect in the world of fine arts. Since the very beginning of People’s Republic of China, fine art discipline of the Central Academy of Fine Arts has shouldered the lofty historical mission of “creating art for China”. In the new century, in face of new historical opportunities, the Central Academy of Fine Arts is committed to a new historical mission, i.e. the pioneering construction of fine art discipline structure with Chinese characteristics and is striving to build a domestic-leading and world-class fine art discipline.
2. Strength and Characteristics
Fine art discipline of our Academy has a long history and profound academic foundation. In the past century, along with the development and changes of China and the world, an inclusive, comprehensive and diversified discipline layout has gradually taken shape, leading and promoting development of fine art disciplines in fine art universities and colleges across China. At present, the fine art discipline of our Academy is based on the academic strengths of different branches including Plastic Arts, Chinese Painting, Experimental Art and Art History. Majors including Chinese Painting, Oil Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Mural Painting, Experimental Art and Photography are divided into separate departments. Basic training (basic courses) and creative thinking (professional studios teaching) are combined in the teaching method. Thus, a complete and sustainable academic system is gradually formed. China’s first Art History Department, first Printmaking Department, first Mural Painting Department, first Experimental Art Department, first doctor of Fine Art from the first doctoral degree program in Fine Art are all born at our Academy. On one hand, we make unremitting efforts to promote and strengthen traditional disciplines (such as Chinese Paintings and Oil Paintings); on the other hand, we have pioneered in establishing new disciplines (such as Experimental Art), so that fine art discipline of the Central Academy of Fine Arts can always maintain a good academic balance and great vitality. We will also further echelon construction in disciplines to make sure the Central Academy of Fine Arts will always be at the forefront of academics.
3. Talents Cultivating Goals
Our fine art discipline has a top-level faculty and aims to cultivate high-end art talents. We have artists and scholars who have been widely recognized internationally and domestically, and we have continuously cultivated high-end talents with profound knowledge and exquisite skills. We are committed to establishing a benign talent development mechanism and a high-level talent cultivation system. The Central Academy of Fine Arts is working hard to develop Chinese fine art discipline in the 21st century by conducting high-end international exchanges and building a highly international and academic fine art teaching and research platform.
4. Subject Setting
Our fine art discipline is complete in structure and well arranged in various layers. In the traditional Chinese fine art section, we have majors like Chinese Painting, Chinese Calligraphy and Seal Carving; in the world’s traditional plastic arts section, majors like Oil Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Murals and Photography are set up; in the new art section, Experimental Art major is set up; in the field of art history, we have majors like Chinese Art History and Global Art history. The discipline system takes into account the comprehensive development of traditional and modern art, art of China and the world, and practice and theory of art. It is a discipline system with Chinese characteristics and global impact that the Central Academy of Fine Arts has gradually explored and constructed in the long-term development process.
5. Domestic and Global Impact
In the long-term development of our Academy, artists and scholars with leading status and important influence in domestic and global art circles have kept emerging. They demonstrate the highest level of Chinese fine art discipline and play an indispensable role in its development. Fine Art discipline of our Academy has always enjoyed high prestige in the art world and art education fields at home and abroad with its high-level courses, fruitful research results and distinctive Chinese characteristics.
6. Overview of Social Contributions
Fine art plays an important role in the social development of modern China. Since the founding of People''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s Republic of China, fine art discipline of the Central Academy of Fine Arts has shouldered the lofty historical mission of "creating arts for China" and has consistently adhered to the principle of "focusing on reality and serving the people", promoting local consciousness of Chinese culture, and thus delivering great contributions and impact to the society. Through the continuous cultivation of a large number of high-end art talents for the society and the creation of world-class high-quality art works with influence on our times, the Central Academy of Fine Arts is leading the fine art trend of China and even of Asia, becoming an important factor in shaping our national aesthetic consciousness.
About Design Studies
I. Positioning and Objective
In the academic spirit of “extending in breadth and greatness to all subtleties”, the discipline of Design Studies of Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) is dedicated to establishing a mechanism leading the teaching model innovation in China’s higher education of design, and to cultivating the comprehensive ability to adapt to social changes, under the framework of four dimensions: fundamental training, specialized education, application innovation and future orientation. Through over two decades of development, the discipline of Design Studies has formed a comprehensive cluster of design subjects in various domains including visual communication, industrial products, vehicles, furniture and home, media and interaction, photography, image and animation, digital game, fashion and accessory, architecture, landscape, environment and urban-rural planning, history of design and design management, etc. This modern design education system has the best teaching structure, the highest teaching level and the most reasonable educational model in China today. With the international forefronts and future trends of disciplinary development always in mind, the discipline of Design Studies of CAFA is the leader and weather vane in the reform and exploration of domestic higher education of design. It is the hard core in national consultation about major public project design and creative industry development, and an important platform and academic powerhouse to disseminate Chinese design as well as the ideas and directions of design education.
II. Strengths and Features
Based on CAFA’s objective to build a world-leading academy of fine arts and its rich tradition in plastic arts and humanities, the discipline of Design Studies establishes itself as a global discipline with innovative consciousness and cultural awareness on the reality and prospects of the Chinese society and industrial development. Upholding a people-oriented spirit, the discipline gathers a teaching team with the greatest overall strengths and the most reasonable academic structure among domestic counterparts and builds an excellent faculty system with dynamic and continuous development among generations of 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, most of whom are experts and leaders in different levels of academic systems at home and abroad. Therefore, it keeps developing with strong impetus and continuous innovation. It also takes the lead in establishing the “tutor studio system” that incorporates the three educational forms of “knowledge, practice and will” and the three functions of “teaching, studying and research”, which is widely borrowed by other institutions.
The discipline of Design Studies integrates international ideas and local experiences to highlight education and research featuring cross-field integration and innovative thinking. It keeps driving teaching practices with global awareness, integrates global vision and local demand, and underlines the disciplinary construction idea of “innovative coordination, development and application” to continuously develop and improve its comprehensive adaptability to global trends and domestic changes. The discipline emphasizes building two development models of disciplinary integration by on the one hand continuously strengthening internal integration and innovation, and on the other hand stressing innovation in coordination with other disciplines such as technology, social sciences and business administration. Such models bring about a series of teaching projects on cross-discipline integration.
III. Talent Training Objective
In teaching, dedicated to creating a world-leading higher education model of design that is based in China and looks to the world, the discipline of Design Studies aims to cultivate high-caliber innovative talents who have a sense of responsibility and a global vision and can actively respond to social changes through integration and innovation. The discipline has always put academic priority, educational ideal and talent training at its core and centers on developing students’ creativity and adaptability. By now, it has formed a creativity cultivation mechanism on the framework of artistic perceptivity, innovative and creative capacity, innovation applicability and the ability to integrate and develop multiple knowledge. The objective is to cultivate multidimensional innovative leaders who can use innovative design to integrate and apply multiple elements to create various applied values, senior talents with overall quality who proactively reflect on designs and make innovations, and experts who possess profound knowledge, an open vision and courage to innovate.
IV. Subjects Setting
While further improving disciplinary basis and strengthening key advantages, the discipline of Design Studies also expands academic frontiers and the direction of future subjects. Fundamental education of Design Studies is distinctive and effective. Design and architecture, the two sets of fundamental design courses integrate modern artistic ideas and basic principles of design and are widely imported by other institutes because of their ingenious academic ideas, full support for teaching and a mature system of theory elaboration. In recent years, as traditional subjects of strengths such as visual communication and architectural design have been further consolidated and highlighted, accessory and fashion design, public art and multimedia design have also made great progress. At the same time, deep exploration is also made into frontier fields including interactional media, service design, sustainable design and narrative space as the discipline of Design Studies in CAFA stays current with the global trend.
V. Influence at Home and Abroad
Design serves the people, the society and national development. It has made outstanding contributions and great achievements. The discipline of Design Studies has always implemented CAFA’s social service idea of “Modelling for China” and “Design for the Nation” by actively involving itself in social services of the country, the society, the public and the industry. It promotes social development, industrial upgrading and public value improvement through design innovation. It has established a social service mechanism led by demand of the nation and the people under the strategy of “industry-university-research” integrated innovative system. For example:
1. Design for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games;
2. Design for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo; theme poster making to promote socialist core values for the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China in 2014;
3. “Souvenir design for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Tibet Autonomous Region” and “souvenir design for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region” in 2015;
4. Major design projects underway including design for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The above-mentioned tasks demonstrate the distinctive strengths of the discipline of Design Studies of CAFA in serving the nation and the society. Through in-depth cooperation with both top global enterprises such as Apple, Audi and Mercedes-Benz and domestic enterprises and public institutions such as the Palace Museum, Tencent and Baidu, the discipline further enhances “industry-university-research” integration, cooperation between CAFA and enterprises and coordinative innovation.
The discipline and its faculty participate in and are core members of many international institutions, and lead and promote domestic academic societies and specialized organizations. Multiple generations of the faculty have established a continuously-improving disciplinary innovation system and a talent cultivation mechanism through refinement in teaching, scientific research, practice and application. They have also built comprehensive ability to undertake complicated design projects and professional competence in theory-practice integration and innovation. They design for China with their foothold at home and speak for Chinese design on the global stage, becoming outstanding representatives in the global system of design education.
Brief Introduction on Art Theory
1. basic information about the discipline
Our doctoral and master’s degree programs under Art Theory were established at a relatively early date since the founding of People''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s Republic of China. Over the years, we have cultivated a large number of outstanding professional talents, played the leading role in domestic Art Theory research, and exerted global impact.
At present, the Art Theory is mainly distributed in the “two colleges, one research institution and two research centers” of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, i.e. the College of Humanities, the College of Art Management and Education, the National Institute of Arts and Cultural Policy, the Research Center for Fine Arts Education and the Research Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage. The teaching and scientific research work of these institutions, first of all, reflect and meet talents cultivation demand in Art Theory, and then takes into account teaching and scientific research demand of related disciplines, such as Fine Arts, Architecture and Design. While serving the overall discipline construction, daily teaching and scientific research of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Theory also strives to shoulder its due responsibilities and contribute its own strength in accordance with the needs of China’s educational and cultural development. Research of those master''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s and doctoral degree programs cover several directions, which can be divided into two main parts. First, basic theory research, including Aesthetics and Art Theory, Visual Culture Research, Art Criticism Theory and its History, Art Heritage, Art Management, Fine Art Pedagogy Theory, etc.; Second, applied research covering Art Marketing, Fine Art Museums, Exhibition Planning and Management, Art Law, Cultural Policy, Cultural Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage, and Fine Art Higher Education.
Our faculty under the master’s and doctoral degree programs covers all subject directions and is well-structured in age. They strive to transform cutting-edge academic information, thoughts and achievements into teaching content, and encourage the application of teaching and scientific research results to social practice. In recent years, we have been optimizing and reforming curriculum for master’s and doctoral degree programs, focusing on cultivating and improving students'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' problem awareness and practical ability, and ensuring the deepening of interaction between postgraduate/PhD students and their tutors during their study.
2. Discipline Characteristics
2.1 Art Theory of the Central Academy of Fine Arts has made pioneering contributions to the teaching and research of Chinese art schools.
2.1.1 Our Academy has taken the lead in establishing two new majors—Art Management and Cultural Heritage, among all Chinese art academies, which not only fills the domestic gap, but also responds to the new trend of international academic development.
The Art Management major which initiated the establishment of China’s Art Management Society, is dedicated to the formulation of Chinese art management discipline standards and has become a member of the International Art Management Education Association. The Cultural Heritage major is dedicated to the protection and restoration research of cultural heritages. Remarkable achievements have been made in identification & restoration of cultural heritages and protection of intangible cultural heritage. The Intangible Cultural Heritage Research Center under this major is part of the UNESCO research partners.
2.1.2 Our Fine Art Pedagogy major is conducting a pilot scheme under the fine art higher education reform by Ministry of Education and is also leading textbook compilation.
In accordance with the spirit advocated by the Ministry of Education and our College, and drawing on the experience of international colleges and universities in setting curriculum, we have built a multilevel, cross-cutting and progressive curriculum centered on fine art education research, covering history, methods, psychology, museums, and artistic practice, etc. The Public Fine Art Education in Fine Art Museums major under this discipline is a new and the first major in China for the public fine art education in cultural and artistic institutions.
2.1.3 With original fine Art Theory teaching and research team and their work, we have newly established the Department of Art Theory and is striving to build an interdisciplinary and cross-major theoretical teaching and research system.
In 2015, the Department of Art Theory was established on the basis of the former fine Art Theory teaching and research office under the Department of Fine Art History. The Department of Art Theory is dedicated to expanding theoretical research based on Great Art and Visual Culture, establishing academic interaction mechanisms with related disciplines such as Fine Art, Design, Architecture, etc., and thus forming an Art Theory framework based on disciplines and majors of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
2.2 The Art Theory of our Academy closely combines the construction of basic theory with practical application.
2.2.1 Art Theory has delivered many important achievements in teaching and research
Based on the outstanding achievements of philosophy and social sciences, and led by the localized Marxism in China, we are striving to build an Art Theory system with Chinese characteristics and the teaching & research of Art Theory has achieved many important results. For example, the Introduction to Fine Art, a book compiled by several generations of scholars including Wang Hongjian and Yuan Baolin and published by Higher Education Press, has become one of the most widely used fine Art Theory textbooks in all higher learning art schools in China and was given the second award of "Excellent Textbook" by the State Education Commission. Wang Hongjian was entrusted by the Ministry of Culture to edit the textbook "Introduction to Art" for China’s higher learning art schools. The book was published by the Cultural and Art Publishing House and was once designated by the Ministry of Education as the textbook of "Introduction to Art" courses in colleges and universities. Compilation of the textbook "Chinese Fine Art History" for the key scientific research project for Marxism under the Ministry of Education is also led by us.
2.2.2 The Art Management major has delivered excellent research results and important social contribution.
The Department of Art Management has cooperated with its counterpart in Columbia University to publish the Central Academy of Fine Arts & Columbia University Art Management Book Series, including the introducing of five textbooks from Columbia University’s Department of Art Management and the co-editing of one textbook. Our Department also plans to independently compile 6 textbooks, 4 of which are declared by the Higher Education Press to be part of the “11th Five-Year Plan National Textbooks”. At the same time, our Department is involved in research on cultural policies at home and abroad, government consultation, etc. We are the main editor of the White Paper on Chinese Art Market published by the Ministry of Culture every year. We provide research report on the status quo of cultural industry and contemporary art ecology for institutions like the Ministry of Culture and China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.
2.2.3 Our achievement in protecting intangible cultural heritage and identifying & restoring paintings and calligraphy takes the national lead.
The Department of Cultural Heritage is actively exploring the mode of running a school in cooperation with domestic and foreign cultural heritage institutions, and has co-hosted a number of “training courses for senior managers of Chinese museums in Sino-French cooperation” with the French National Cultural Heritage Institute, training a large number of managers at all levels in museums and cultural institutions in China (Hong Kong and Taiwan included).
2.2.4 The Fine Art Pedagogy major has made great achievements in the curriculum system building and fine arts education training.
Entrusted by the Ministry of Education, our Fine Art Pedagogy major has devoted to the reform of Fine Art Education in recent years and has made outstanding achievements in theory construction and textbook compilation. This major has also undertaken the National Training Program under Ministry of Education for key fine art teachers in primary and secondary schools, assisting in building a new education reform system covering higher normal schools and middle normal schools. This major actively carries out exchanges at home and abroad, e.g. the cooperation with Fine Art and Fine Art Education Department of Normal College in Columbia University, the United States in organizing training class of Fine Art Pedagogy for higher learning institutions in China.
3. Overview of Social Contributions
Institutions of higher learning shoulder important responsibilities in teaching knowledge, researching academics, cultivating ideas, inheriting culture, cultivating talents, serving the society, etc. The Central Academy of Fine Arts is committed to building a modern fine art education discipline structure, with disciplines like Plastic Art, Design, Architecture, and Humanities supporting and influencing each other, and playing a leading role in establishing a fine art education system with Chinese characteristics with its high-level teaching quality and research results, so as to become a representative, leading and exemplary fine art school among its Chinese counterparts, and enjoy an important position among world-class fine art colleges and universities. The Art Theory has also played a unique and crucial role in this process. Majors under the Art Theory, especially the Cultural Heritage, Art Management, Fine Art Pedagogy, in forms of teaching, scientific research and talents cultivation, have undertaken a series of research projects and work to serve the society and the country, actively participated in academic development of the discipline and cultural service practices meeting the social demand. Over the years, those majors have provided various professional services for many departments and organizations of the country, including the formulation of relevant national policies, the planning and piloting of major projects, the training of staff at all levels in cultural departments and institutions, compilation of textbooks, reference materials and professional books, etc. Our work has been fully affirmed and recognized by relevant state departments and organizations.
Review of the Architectural Discipline
I. Positioning and Mission
The history of architectural education at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) dates back to 1928, when the School of Art at Peking University (later became the CAFA) set up its Department of Architecture. In 1993, the academy resumed the major of Architecture and Environmental Art Design. In 2005, it gained the right to confer the master’s degree in “Architectural Design and Theory”. In 2010, it was granted to confer master''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s degree in Architecture (first-level discipline). As majors in colleges and universities were adjusted in the 1950s, the architecture majors, once affiliated to art education, were transferred to engineering colleges. Therefore, the lack of cultural connotation and aesthetics in urban planning and architectural design in China was increasingly obvious. At that time, the development of the architectural major in the CAFAs was a bold and good attempt.
The positioning and mission of the architectural discipline can be summarized as follows: First, under the education pattern of “Comprehensive Art”, it adheres to the “parallel development, mutual promotion and overall improvement of art education and design education”, gives play to CAFA’s most advanced visual art as well as cultural and academic traditions, and vigorously enhances the cultural connotation and aesthetics of architectural education. Second, it “cultivates architects and researchers with artist qualities” to break the isolation between architectural design and the cultural and artistic world. It establishes an educational platform that integrates high-level teaching, design, artistic practice and theoretical research to achieve a return to the essence of architecture.
This positioning pioneers the development of architectural education among Chinese art colleges. In the past decade, this pedagogical path has proved to be highly consistent with the country’s advocacy to cultivate creative and practical talents. In 2009, the CAFA’s architectural discipline passed the undergraduate assessment of the Assessment Committee of the Architectural Education in China, not only adhering to the mainstream of architectural education, but also embarking on a unique development path.
II. Advantages and Features
Under the concept of “Comprehensive Art”, the discipline combines plastic arts, design art, architectural art, and cultural academics to form a comprehensive academic system. It is home to many top artists and cultural scholars, providing the most advanced cultural and artistic platform for the development of architecture. The CAFA attaches great importance to the coordinated development of architecture science, art and culture, adheres to both art and technology, “pursues the core values of the discipline, integrates multiple disciplines, and explores the frontiers of the discipline” to build its advantages. In terms of the features of the discipline, we are committed to building a new type of architectural majors featuring “interdisciplinary art and engineering”, highlighting the innovation of design methods and design concepts. We focus on the cultivation of practical abilities and research-driven design education.
In 2010, the CAFA Experimental Center of Architecture was nominated as the Demonstration Center of Experimental Teaching in Beijing, leading domestic architectural colleges. In 2014, leading relevant departments, the School of Architecture successfully applied for the “National Virtual Reality Education Laboratory” project. The establishment of the “Beijing Development Center for High-Grade, Precision and Advanced Technology” in 2015 provides a solid foundation for the CAFA and relevant universities in Beijing to jointly cultivate innovative talents. In October 2015, the “Cultural Architectures in China International Forum” was successfully held. Experts and scholars from over ten prestigious universities at home and abroad discussed the development of cultural architecture. The leading figures of major domestic architectural colleges also attended a presidential forum.
III. Pedagogical Approaches and Targets
In terms of academic standards and pedagogy, the CAFA has always adhered to “research-based teaching and research-based practice” to ensure high-level academic research while participating in practical activities. The teaching principle is embodied in the fact that as an architectural school in an art academy, it actively participates in the practice of urban and architectural construction. The graduate program, in particular, has launched joint project or pedagogical exchanges with the urban management department and institutions for practice. This kind of sound interaction has fueled the increasing social impact of architectural teaching of the CAFA. In recent years, its research projects have focused on cultural architecture, urbanization issues, township development and conservation, protection of traditional architecture, modern and contemporary urban and architectural design, and interior design. In addition, this teaching principle not only teaches students professional knowledge and innovative thinking, but also enables them to meet social needs in practice. Through the combination of lectures and practice, it provides tremendous employment support for its students.
IV. Multiple Pathways
Over the years, we have been striving to expand the professional connotation of the discipline and build a new architectural school that is active, prudent, reasonable and advanced, featuring “interdisciplinary art and engineering”.
The pathway of “Architectural Design and Theory” focuses on the study of urban physical and cultural environments. It includes new ecological and technological achievements and strives to construct architectural design methods and theoretical systems from a cultural perspective. “Architectural History and Theory” draws on the research results of design, art, fine arts, history and other related disciplines. It not only enriches CAFA’s research pathways in humanities and cultural research, but also provides a new lens for architectural history and theoretical research in China. The pathway of “Architectural Science and Technology” emphasizes the ability of technical thinking and the originality of design based on new technologies and new materials. “Interior Design and Theory” focuses on the awareness of space shaping. This pathway pays more attention to the artistic expression and original design of the cultural environment, emphasizing the coordination of aesthetic experience and overall engineering.
V. International Exchanges and Influence
The CAFA believes that international communication is an important part of teaching and research. It attaches great importance to academic exchanges and cooperation at all levels and strives to expand international exchanges. Over the years, the architectural discipline has held a series of high-level international architectural exhibitions and academic seminars, and has carried out extensive teacher exchanges, student exchanges, curriculum communication, and scientific research cooperation with its equivalents around the world.
In 2007, the CAFA became the first and only Chinese member to join the European Association for Architectural Education. Since 2012, the academy has promoted international academic exchange to a new level. It no longer simply introduces teachers and students from famous foreign universities to the CAFA for lectures and communication, but also sends its teachers to foreign institutions to give lectures. Its students can also participate in joint projects in the form of long-term or short-term exchanges. The CAFA effectively strengthened the influence of Chinese culture abroad through its exchanges with its equivalents. Its joint project is mainly in cooperation with the Aarhus School of Architecture (Denmark) and the University of Westminster (UK). Such projects are also financed by the China Scholarship Council with scholarships for international students.
The Landscape Architecture is a comprehensive and applied discipline involving a wide range of knowledge, including not only natural scenery, geology, geomorphology and ecological environment, as well as related scientific knowledge, materials engineering and applied technology, but also humanities and arts, historical traditions and folk arts. It means that research can be done from different angles to reveal its own discipline characteristics. Central Academy of Fine Arts was among the first universities to get first-level master’s degree for the landscape architecture, and follows a unique development path for fine arts academies, that accentuates arts and culture.
1. The Positioning and Goals
The Landscape Architecture of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) derives from the environmental art design, adhering to the basic concept of “training landscape architecture professionals with artistic quality”. With the joint efforts of two generations, such as renowned Professor Zhang Qiman, a landscape architecture system with the characteristics of fine arts academy has been established. Based on the concept of training talents with artistic and humanistic qualities, the discipline focuses on the fine design of small and medium-sized landscape architecture. With the research of overall design methodology from preliminary planning to follow-up evaluation as its core, the discipline is directed by keen observation and frontier subjects, underlining technology, artistry as well as exploration.
2. Advantages and Characteristics
The discipline aims to build a teaching system under the perspective of art, demonstrating the basic concept of establishing small-but-excellent landscape architecture against the background of fine arts academy. With the Integration of the discipline characteristics of Art, Design, Architecture and Urban and Rural Planning, the Landscape Architecture attaches great importance to the cross-disciplinary innovation and diversified development of different disciplines. At the same time, with the combination of scientific research projects and social practices, it studies the planning theory of Chinese and foreign landscape architecture and gains practical experience in design. In addition, the discipline accentuates the preliminary data collection, analysis, evaluation and planning, as well as the evaluation, verification, feedback and summary of the works’ service conditions after completion, so as to enhance the comprehensive planning and implementation of the environment quality.
In line with the basic concept of establishing “small-but-excellent” landscape architecture, the curriculum focuses on the history and theory of practical application, design exploration and practices, research and assessment methodology, and art history theory and aesthetic theory, stressing explorative discussion, cross-team cooperation and practical application. 1. The history and theory of landscape architecture. It emphasizes the influence of social and historical background, causes and technical conditions upon the style and characteristics of landscape architecture design; 2. Design exploration and practices. It focuses on design ability of small and medium-sized landscape architecture and underlines artistic quality control and cultural atmosphere building in landscape space, attaching great importance to abilities in innovative thinking and spatial art modeling; 3. Research and assessment methodology. As the core of landscape architecture research, it places special emphasis on the selection of research methods and procedures, data collection, and analysis and assessment, accumulating practical research experience through constantly improved practices; 4. The art history theory and aesthetics theory. It is the feature of the curriculum system of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, involving the development principles of artistic thinking, the aesthetics theory, contemporary art conception and public art development, etc., and focusing on expanding the research ideas of landscape architecture design. In the final analysis, the Landscape Architecture is a combination of practical technology, art, and humanities. In the process of teaching practical technology, students'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' aesthetic awareness and judgment ability are constantly improved.
We have worked closely with China Architecture Design & Research Group, Beijing Institute of Architecture Design and other first-class design institutes. As a result, we have created a school running pattern featuring close cooperation between education units and design institutes, setting up a high-level platform for practical education. With Industry-University-Research cooperation and complementary advantages of teachers, the practical problems generated in the design process are fed back to the teaching research to make our research subjects at the leading edge and applicable. In addition, in view of the lack of experience in the material application, ecological technology, and overall planning and construction of design in art academies, senior engineers are selected by design institutes to provide teaching and research guidance on relevant courses. The “double-tutor model”, with a tutor from the collage and the other from the design institute, has clearly demonstrated the emphasis that Landscape Architecture of the Central Academy of Fine Arts has put on practical application.
3. Talent Training Objectives
German Romantic poet Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin once wrote “poetically, human dwell upon the earth”. Good landscape architecture should not only meet physical conditions, but also bring people a kind of spiritual pleasure and an emotional communication and resonance. Therefore, our education is people-oriented. Drawing on the unique perspective of artistic creation, we are committed to cultivate high-level talents with academic innovation spirit and original design ability.
In addition, we will strengthen cooperation with government and enterprises in scientific research and design projects. The establishment of advanced laboratories of virtual reality, light environment simulation, ecological water environment, and material has helped to give full play to the advantages of “industry-university-research” integration. In practical projects, students will eventually be trained as interdisciplinary talents capable of coping with elements of complex reality and full of creative spirit.
4. Disciplinary Orientation and Research Focus
The research of the landscape architecture focus on four orientations: landscape architecture history and theory, landscape architecture design and theory, public art design and theory, and landscape architecture heritage conservation and theory. Key research directions include low cost technologies and passive ecological landscape design, landscape design for special needs (such as elderly care facilities, child care facilities, pocket parks, etc.), artistic intervention in public space landscape design, urban public service facilities planning and design, and traditional village landscape reusing design, etc. Adhering to the concept of “Design for the People” upheld by the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the discipline has served key national, provincial and municipal projects such as “Beijing Olympic Games”, “Shanghai World Expo”, and “New Countryside Construction”, continuously developing in various social practices.
5. Domestic and International Influence
Backed by the solid academic background of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the academic support of the Environmental Design Arts Committee of the Chinese Artists Association, a unique teaching system of Landscape Architecture has been created, which combines arts and humanities education with engineering education, university education with cooperative education of design institutes, and classroom education with practical education. Together, these establish the discipline’s academic status. In addition, we’ve successfully held such far-reaching activities as the “Annual Meeting of Environmental Art and Design Education in Art Colleges” and the “Design for China – National Environmental Art Design Conference", covering not only the art academies, but also engineering and normal colleges.
Through various channels such as “sending out and bringing in", we have kept close communication with the Delft University of Technology, University of Oslo, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, Waseda University, and KyungHee University, in an effort to expand space for diversified international cooperation and effectively spread innovation and thinking in the teaching of Chinese landscape architecture.
Introduction to Urban and Rural Planning
I Position and Target
Urban and Rural Planning is the study dealing with urban and rural planning issues. The purpose of the discipline is to solve urban problems, research urban and rural development, ease the acute social contradictions between regions and regions, urban and rural areas, guide urban and rural economic development, and maintain the harmonious and orderly ecological and environmental development with interdisciplinary theories and thoughts in society, economy, politics and ecological environment.
II Advantages and Features
As China adjusted the disciplines of universities in the 1950s, architecture studies (including urban and rural planning, etc.) was completely excluded from art education. As a result, architecture and urban planning were only taught in engineering colleges, lacking cultural connotation and aesthetic education. Regarding this situation, the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) sets up the major of urban and rural planning.
The discipline pursues the study of contemporary Chinese urban culture as the academic basis, emphasizes the comprehensive exploration of various disciplines and focuses on studying a series of basic issues encountered in researching urban culture, including cultural interpretation, history and anthropology, and sociology and visual modeling. It lends "concreteness" to the cultural elements which used to be regarded as "hidden" and "abstract", reveals the cultural stretches with contemporary visions and combines the academic achievements of traditional Chinese culture and world''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s excellent cultures with the tremendous momentum of China''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s contemporary urban development.
Despite insufficient basic conditions, the CAFA pursues the basic concept of "cultivating urban and rural planning talents who possess the qualities of artists", strives to complete and systematize the discipline structure, and continuously reforms the curriculum structure and deepens quality management. Although limited, the current achievements in the discipline establishment have already reflected CAFA’s education concepts, connotation and characteristics in setting up the major of urban and rural planning. Through the joint efforts of famous professors such as Zhang Baowei and Pan Gongkai and several generations, CAFA’s major of urban and rural planning has already taken the lead in reforming the education of architecture majors in art universities in China. The CAFA has seized the opportunity of rapid urban and rural development in China, leverages its strength in art and humanity research, and sets up the education system of urban and rural planning by creatively combining art education with engineering education, university education with on-site education, and classroom education with practical education. The CAFA has established a relatively leading academic position in urban and urban planning among its counterparts, and has been above average among traditional science and engineering universities.
CAFA’s major of urban and rural planning has not been established for a long time, but it has distinct characteristics. In view of the current cultural, ecological and economic crisis around the world, the discipline gives full play to CAFA’s academic resources and advantages, explores its own connotation, adds human history and artistic aesthetics, and emphasizes the integration, complementary and academic penetration among majors. The discipline has the following characteristics:
1. It emphasizes the integration and combination of urban aesthetics, sociology, ecology, ethics and environmental behavior with urban design, prioritizes creativity, methodology and theoretical research, and explores the creative potential of urban spatial generation art.
2. It develops planning education with high-quality aesthetic and cultural connotation, and reflects the academic value of CAFA’s education in planning. In view of the lack of humanity spirit in urban and rural planning education, it changes the trend that technology outweighs humanity in current planning education and practice, takes advantages of CAFA’s humanity research, and pushes forward the diversified development of planning education in China.
3. It examines the development of contemporary cities from the perspective of culture and art, studies urban environment, focuses on heritage protection, highlights theoretical research on urban art, urban history and urban culture, pursues urban heritage protection and the continuation of humanity art, and explores more channels to express urban aesthetics.
III Goals of Talent Training
The discipline emphasizes complete urban and rural planning thought and the scientific outlook on development when training the new type of urban and rural planning talents. It changes the rigid and dogmatic trend of quantifying research work in the current education, practice and management of urban and rural planning, which organically combines urban culture, life and atmosphere with efficiency and procedures, creates the urban space full of vitality, life and humanity, and cultivates high-quality and high-level urban and rural planning and design talents with development potentials for realizing the sustainable development strategies such as “transformation” of the national economy and cultural “innovation”.
IV Settings and Influence
In view of its teaching resources and specialties, the CAFA sets up four majors, including urban and rural planning and theory, urban design and theory, urban culture and heritage protection, and urban lighting art research. At present, the CAFA is the only art university in China that offers the first-level discipline of urban and rural planning. With distinctive features and outstanding characteristics, it has already generated certain influence in the industry at home and abroad.
V An Overview of Contributions to Social Services
The discipline has completed a series of teaching and research topics in terms of its disciplinary , development direction.