This article examines current trends in campus development in China. The context of ancient cultural symbolism is juxtaposed with the often-expressed intent to emulate Western campus design precedents. The apparent complexity and seeming contradictions of Oriental culture are reviewed in comparison to attitudes about historic campus development in America. A case study design for a new campus in China illustrates how symbolic narrative may be expressed in the physical environment. The importance of genius loci or a distinctive sense of place is reaffirmed with a call for multi-dimensional considerations to inform and advance ecologically sensitive and meaningful campus designs everywhere.
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