Enframing the Scene



Presentation / discussion and Selection


Abstract, Paper / artefact, and Poster


Architecture, Arts, Landscape architecture, and Urban design
Perceptual Interaction as a Design Tool, Based on Chinese Scholar Gardens Research
Luyi Liu

Files: abstract, poster, full paper

Fragments from proceedings (‘paper submission’)’:


This paper is part of a Ph.D. thesis. It originates in a cross-cultural observation, which is from the perspective of the contemporary architecture academic context to interpret one typical Chinese landscape spatial phenomenon: enframing the scene.

Starting from a discussion of frame1, both in contemporary architectural discourse and in retroactive research concerning Ancient Chinese landscape, this project aims to reveal certain similarities and differences in the use of frame between these realms.

Based on a cross-cultural methodological approach, we found a similarity in the use of frame in these two domains. They are both from visual habits. It is in one certain chain: ‘the way of seeing’- ‘the way to create space matching this seeing way’1. Due to the different visual habits, the cases from ancient Chinese landscape offer another way to see, and then another way to organize, the space by using frame. This “another way”, in this thesis, is defined as perceptual interaction between the users and space, happening in the user’s perception field.

In the present paper, it will discuss the possibility to employ the perception-phenomenology and visual psychology to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of this perception interaction tool in contemporary spatial design.

The adoption of phenomenology is based on the assumption that human knowledge of space includes some a priori. This means that, excluding cultural differences, there should be some spatial prototypes that can serve people of varied cultural backgrounds.

Ultimately, the research will highlight how the perception interaction, used as a “design tool”, could lead to a higher context-sensitive spatial design practice in this contemporary extensively globalized society.


Perceptual Interaction Design Tool; Contemporary spatial design; Ancient Chinese landscape architecture; Frame/windows and space/landscape



Although this is a study based on the spatial phenomenon of Chinese gardens when we talk about the perceptual cognition, that is the essential and fundamental working mechanism, we actually touched on the commonality of the human being. We believe a more in-depth analysis of it in this process, mainly employing perception-phenomenology and visual psychology, will help us return to the context of contemporary spatial design discourse. It would help to convert it into a tool using in contemporary design.