Feng Shui is a topic that rarely enters contemporary architectural discourse although many Architects have Clients who consider the principles of Feng Shui as important to their project in one way or another, and with the recent Chinese New Year celebrations having just passed, what better time to discuss the role of Feng Shui in architecture and the home? Both Feng Shui and Acupuncture are natural sciences derived from ‘The Book of Changes’ which was believed to have originated from the legendary Emperor Fu Xi in the year 3322 B.C. The book represents symbolically, the organised, rhythmic and purposeful universe, allowing the reader to infer relationships between himself and the Cosmos beyond normal perceptual levels. Architects may argue they are Feng Shui specialists of sorts on this basis.
To put it very simply, Feng Shui aims to align earth and life with the cosmos in order to receive positive energy. Whilst this may sound a little L. Ron Hubbard it’s by no means a stretch to consider the core principles and outcomes of great architecture on the same basis. The Feng Shui method of organisation covers all aspects of living and working spaces, from interiors, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens, to gardens and outdoor living spaces. The fundamental aspects of Feng Shui are simple and rational, and can be applied very easily to planning a home or workspace. In the most part they are common sense principles most Architects would adhere to in a general sense, particularly the principles relating to cross ventilation, light and generosity of space.
We have had a steady increase in enquiries about Feng Shui over the past few years and had even specified some of these principles in the Project Brief sections of recent Fee Agreements with our Clients. I have outlined a handful of these principles below and have suggested how they can be applied to design.