Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College Hosts the First Lecture of Chinese Cultural Expert Forum
Miami, February 16th -17th，2011 — A cultural lecture with the theme of ‘Hakka Castle Dwellings’ was held on North Campus and Kendall Campus at Miami Dade College respectively. As the first lecture of Chinese cultural expert forum, it was given by Dr. Keith Lowe at the invitation of the Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College. Figures such as Dr. Yu Xuejun, American Director, Dr. Zhang Wenghui, Chinese Director and more than 300 teachers as well as students from the Faculty of Architecture and representatives from other faculties at the college, were in attendance at the lecture.
Dr. Lowe at North Campus giving a lecture on the Hakka Castle Dwellings
Dr. Keith Lowe gave an explanation of Hakka Castle Dwelling---- a world cultural heritage using a great deal of pictures and charts. His speech commenced with an introduction of Zhencheng building in Yongding County of Fujian Province. A number of mysterious dwellings were revealed to the audience as Dr. Lowe offered a vivid depiction of structural forms, architectural crafts, architectural styles and the historical configurations of Hakka Castle Dwellings. He illustrated the fact that a Hakka Castle Dwelling is comprised of two styles: square dwellings and round dwellings with more than 20 architectural forms, including palace-style dwellings, five-turret dwellings, rectangular dwellings, five sided dwellings, hexagonal dwellings, octagonal dwellings, dwellings with a round front and a square rear, dwellings with a square front and a round rear and oval dwellings. Subsequently, there was an introduction focusing on the Castle Dwelling plans, features and functions, using a number of images as a demonstration of the utilitarian functions of Hakka's bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, warehouses, wells, pigpens, cowsheds and amongst others as well as the Hakka shrines and school buildings. The pictures were mostly the works of Dr.Lowe himself, as Dr. Lowe is a member of the Hakka minority. He also explained the relationship between the Hakka Castle Dwellings and traditional Chinese residences and palaces. Additionally, he also explained why the Eight Diagrams are observed during the building of Hakka dwellings from the design process through to construction. The lecture concluded with audience members asking specific questions regarding the Hakka Castle Dwellings’ lighting and ventilating conditions, fire alarms and security measures, decorative features, and construction materials amongst others. In response to his audience, Dr. Lowe replied patiently answering questions one after another. Following Dr. Lowe’s humorously informative lecture, the American teachers and students expressed how they considered the ancient Chinese Hakka Castle Dwellings economical, robust, safe and to have beautifully artistic design.
Dr. Lowe at Kendall Campus giving a lecture on the Hakka Castle Dwellings
Dr. Lowe received a mater’s degree from Harvard University as well as a Doctorate from Stanford University years ago. He has served as a Professor of Howard University (Washington), a Professor of the University of California, San Diego, Director-General of the Toronto Chinese Cultural Center, Canada, President of Ontario multicultural society, committee member of Asian culture foundation of Canada and taken up various other posts.
(Contributed by the Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College)