This project is part of a series about the transformation of Beijing’s Forbidden City into the current Palace Museum published by the graphics team during 2018. This is the first chapter in the series and analyses the basics of architecture, planning and construction of the original Imperial Palace
What makes this project innovative?
Large sets of data were collected from this project including site visits and turned into easily digested diagrams, animations and illustrations. The use of illustrations is an innovative way to visualise data and explain ancient architectural practices
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Audiences for project quickly reached half a million views with readertime exceeding five minutes. The project was also repackaged in video format and slimmer versions articles. The entire series, including video formats has received about two million visits
Source and methodology
The primary sources of data for this project were in-field research – the team spent several weeks in China and Taiwan collecting information from Beijing’s Palace Museum, Taipei National Palace Museum and the Ancient Architecture Museum of Beijing Some books also reinforced the corroboration of data including the following: The Forbidden City, by Frances Wood, 2005, British Museum Press division; The Grand Forbidden City - The Imperial Axis, by Chiu Kwong Chiu, 2008, Joint Publishing Hong Kong ; Forbidden City 100, by 赵广超著, 2015, The Palace Press; Origins of Chinese Traditional Architecture, By Min-fu Hsu, 1986 University of Edinburgh Similar projects made by BBC, Science News, Princeton University, Livescience, Nature, The Smithsonian Institute and National Geographic were also taken into account to re-create the structures, origins and history of the Palace Museum The research of the Laboratory of Earthquake Engineering and Structural Retrofit, of the Beijing University of Technology, was another valuable source of information for this project