ECOTOURISM ›› 2023, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (3): 453-465.doi: 10.12342/zgstly.20230022

• National Cultural Park and Heritage Tourism • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research on the adaptation of vernacular crafts and their design inheritance mechanism based on morphological theory:A case of upper Yellow River waterwheel

Zhao Decheng(), Wei Wenjin, Liu Jiale*()   

  1. School of Art Design, North Minzu University, Yinchuan, 750021, China
  • Received:2023-03-08 Revised:2023-06-15 Online:2023-06-28 Published:2023-08-04
  • Contact: Liu Jiale;


Vernacular crafts contain the adaptation characteristics of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature, which have multiple values for the present and future social development. This study is based on the environmental adaptation theory of bio-morphology, analyzing the morphological evolution of typical traditional farming implements in the upper Yellow River reaches in an ephemeral and co-evolutionary fashion. From the concept of anthropology and bio-morphological adaptation to the environment, the evolutionary process of the Yellow River waterwheel has been sorted out chronologically, the regional causes have been analyzed co-temporally, and discuss the characteristics of vernacular crafts, as well as their design inheritance, evolution, and development. This study indicated that: (1) Morphology is the result of regional adaptation. The form of the waterwheel in the upper reaches of the Yellow River has passed through the southwest traditional Chinese noria, the Lanzhou Water Wheel, upper reaches of the Yellow River waterwheel, and the spokes of the waterwheel, production materials, shape structure, and other morphological characteristics have undergone significant changes; (2) The natural environment, including Loess Plateau topography and geomorphology, arid and semi-arid climate, and the cultural environment, including Loess culture and arid and semi-arid farming culture in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, Gansu, Qinghai, and Ningxia, are the main motive factors for the evolution of the adaptation of the Yellow River waterwheel morphology; the natural environment is a direct factor and the cultural environment is an indirect factor. (3) The regional adaptation system of vernacular craft consists of both human and natural factors, and its "unity of man and nature" contains both ecological theoretical and tourism implementation values. (4) By retaining their symbolic traits, transforming their functional roles, and modernizing their materials and techniques, vernacular crafts can be passed down in a variety of ways.

Key words: morphological theory, vernacular craft, regional adaptation, design heritage, heritage tourism, intangible cultural heritage