Feng Shui has been gaining wide acceptance in the West as a tool for Architects, Designers and Planners. Because it is a holistic discipline, it looks at many different ways to create or enhance environments, combining hard design principles with a deep understanding of Nature and its processes. In addition, it is also concerned with philosophical, psychological, and metaphysical reality, and does not shy away from western ideals in the pursuit of good design. Its ultimate goal is to create harmony and balance in the environment through the manipulation and enhancement of vital energy, know in the orient as chi.
Ideally, feng shui ought to be used at the onset of a creative project, when it can best inform the architects and designers as to its energetic considerations. It is my belief that its use should to be fully transparent in the design process, as its usefulness depends, not upon the quaint use of chimes, crystals, or other such baubles, but upon solid design principles tested and perfected over thousands of years.
Feng shui found its origins in ancient agrarian China, at a time when the understanding of Nature and its processes was critical to survival. Over time, it developed tools to manage both rural and urban settings. In addition to large-scale management of regional land and water resources, ancient practitioners of this craft were able to create analytical tools for the development of towns, villages, and single buildings.
The development of this craft represents one of the greatest of achievements in the history of geomancy — the study of the land and how humans relate to its natural forms.The original concern for large-scale planning, however, was never removed from the practice of building, so that today even small projects are consistently reviewed in relation to regional and cosmic forces. These, in turn, are correlated to the specific program for a site or building. The practical objective is to create a structure that is in full harmony not only with the cosmos itself, but also with the site, its occupants, and their history.
THE SITE PLAN
Feng shui has many techniques which deal with the impact of direction and orientation on the performance of a site and which can shed light on its potential to generate prosperity, success, or health. These include assessments of land and water patterns, road and traffic influences, and flow of vital energy throughout the site and its buildings. In addition, other techniques can evaluate the relative potential of the site at specific moments in time. Using these techniques, for example, it is possible to determine the likelihood of financial success or failure within a site or portion of a site at different points in time.
In addition, feng shui techniques can be used to evaluate the relative potential of different sectors within a site for specific functions, activities, organizations, or individuals. These can then be correlated with patterns of energy flow in order to determine the most effective configuration for all components of a site.
Ultimately the goal is to create an environment which reflects the natural and Cosmic forces that are participants in this effort, and which maximizes the potential of the site, its physical and energetic configuration, and the organization or individuals which occupy it. For situations that are not optimal, feng shui has developed many techniques and methods for correcting, curing, or alleviating problems within the site itself as well as in the larger geographical region.
ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN
Of all the techniques and methods available to the feng shui consultant, its design tools are probably the better know by the public at large. These include analytical approaches to the optimal placement, orientation, and alignment of buildings, roads, and waterways. In addition, feng shui provides useful tools to create and evaluate floor plans, traffic patterns, and functional programs within the building envelope
When evaluating a given space, feng shui places great emphasis on the flow of vital energy or chi. The quality of this energy and how it moves throughout a space will have great impact on the success of the institution or organization located within it. Hence the design of entrances, corridors, stairs, and other connectors is of vital importance to achieving this flow. If, however, this flow of vital chi were to be blocked or diminished, feng shui can provide many cures or corrections that will help to re-instate proper vitality into the space. In those cases were the available chi were to be of poor quality, feng shui can provide solutions to improve its quality, availability, and flow.
Within the context of the building program, feng shui tools are available to determine the optimal placement of specific functions within the structure. With these tools, for example, it is possible to determine the ideal location of a function so that it will derive in success, profitability, and long-term prosperity for the structure’s users. In the case of a residence, good placement can derive in good health, happiness, and a career that is in alignment with the user’s personal path. It is clear from these examples that feng shui is concerned as much with good design as with the well-being and success of the space’s users.
In addition, there are many other considerations which are important to the feng shui of a building or its site. Please consult our Resources page for additional information on Design Guidelines.
In addition to design principles and guidelines for architecture planning, feng shui is also concerned about the practice of building. It is axiomatic in feng shui that the manner in which a given structure is erected will have direct implications upon the outcome, success and future of the structure’s users. These concerns begin with the quality of the land itself. Hence the evaluation of the site from the perspective of energy quality is a first step. This includes not only analyses of land form, but also of subtler energies contained in the land and commonly referred to as dragon veins. In particular, feng shui is concerned with locating healthy veins and avoiding those that are negative or detrimental. The latter are know as dark streams. In particular, traditional feng shui practice is eager to avoid creating dark streams through irresponsible building practices such as the accidental severing of a dragon vein when digging for roads or foundations. Western knowledge on geodetic stresses (other forms of detrimental earth energy which include dark streams) has also been incorporated into contemporary feng shui practice. When geodetic stress or dark streams are unavoidable, cures and corrections can be made to render the site safe for habitation.
Feng shui is also concerned with the health of the environment. Hence its advocates the use of non-toxic materials and building processes which do not create toxicity in the environment, both within the site itself as well as in the world at large. The use of green building materials is similarly endorsed, as this contributes to the quality of chi available to the planet. By the same token, engaging in sustainability as a philosophical ideal is also supported, because it helps to enhance the quality of chi available to all.
Not surprisingly, feng shui is also concerned with the electro-magnetic load placed on humans by industry and technology. The newer generations of feng shui consultants are therefore keenly aware of exposure to radiation and other electro-magnetic sources, including household appliances and residential wiring. Recent evidence also seems to indicate that these may have an impact on geodetic stress because they tend to spread and generalize these pathogenic situations.
Feng shui also has many techniques used to augment the natural vitality of a site. These include ground-breaking ceremonies, blessings and, in the case of older construction, space clearing procedures that can revitalize tired spaces. For more information on these services, please refer to our Rituals page.
For more information, please refer to the Resources section:
“Guidelines for Office & Business Environments”
“Guidelines for Residential Environments”
“Guidelines for Non-Toxic Environments”
“Guidelines for Safe Electrical Systems”
“Guidelines for Healthy & Healing Environments”