The legacies of Daoism and Confuscianism are spread throughout the Astor Court. For example, the Ming room is an enclosed space, meant for hard work, studying, and self cultivation, which has a Confuscian appeal, while the scholars garden has an open design, meant for star gazing, and it has a very Daoist appeal. Another example of a Daoism object would be the pond with colorful fish and the soothing sound of dripping water. Another example would be the the rocks, which represented the rugged terrain of China. With the shimmering, splashing water and the large rocks show the polarity of yin (dark, void soft, yielding, wet, cool) and Yang (bright, solid, hard, unyielding, dry, hot). Modern New Yorkers would find this balance of relaxation, work, and studies appealing, as it leads to a healthy life style. This appeal tells us that the legacy of Daoism is that life is about doing what is natural, not forcing anything, and finding harmony in yourself, while the legacy of Confucianism is that educating yourself and having a heathy relationship with others is the best path to happiness, harmony, and human flourishing.
This is a blueprint of the Ming room, and how it is built. This is built like it were really in the Ming dynasty, with wood pillars and braces. Also, to join together two pieces of wood, carpenters had to fashion tenons to go into mortises of the same shape. Finally, no nails were used, only wooden pegs. These complex designs show the technological advancements that China had in the Ming dynasty.
there were 4 different kinds of wood used in the Astor court. For the railings and lattice, ginkgo and camphor wood were used. For the beams, fir wood was used. Finally, the pillars were made from a rare species of evergreen, nan wood. Nan wood is unaffected by insects and it is infamous for its durability and favorable honey brown color. This shows the varied resources and attention to detail during the Ming dynasty.