Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  23 minutes
Date:  1987
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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From Courtyard House to Block Apartment

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Examines the impact of rapid industrialization on traditional Chinese housing styles and ways of living.

From Courtyard House to Block Apartment

FROM COURTYARD HOUSE TO BLOCK APARTMENT looks at the abrupt transition from traditional to modern housing on Taiwan, home to 19 million Chinese.

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 Chinese 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.'-Ronald G. Knapp, Professor of Geography, State University of New York at New Paltz; author, CHINA'S TRADITIONAL 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

'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


Main credits

Yao, Wynette (Screenwriter)
Yao, Wynette (Director)

Distributor credits

A Film by Wynette Yao

Docuseek2 subjects

Housing and Homelessness
Urban Studies
Asian Studies

Distributor subjects

East Asia


China; architecture; traditional ; Chinese; courtyard house; documentary; film; video; "From Courtyard House to Block Apartment"; Icarus Films;

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