What Is Fung Shui?

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese science of position with the environment and universe. Feng Shui literal translation is Wind and Water. Water refers to prosperity and wind refers to movement. There are many schools however all concepts are meant to promote the positive flow of energy (chi).

Schools of Feng Shui

~ Form School is the oldest tradition of Feng Shui is based on the land formations. The relative shape, size, and location of water, mountains, and accessibility routes impact the success of the structure(s).

~ Compass School as the name suggest is based on the compass or luo pan. The Eight Mansion School is focused on the individual according to the year they were born. The Flying Stars School determines the energy flow of the structure. Using the eight trigrams, the structure is divided up and assigned a value. This value is related to a compass direction, season, elements, body part, color, shape, and family member. Using the elements, the chi can be altered in order to create a positive flow. This school follows the yin yang theory, I Ching, Chinese astrology and numerology.

~ Life Aspiration School uses a pa kua or bagua as an energy map of the environment. The aspirations are wealth, relationship, creativity, fame, career, knowledge, family, travel, and health. The bagua is laid over the structure according to the compass direction and the individual is determined to have 4 favorable and 4 unfavorable directions which determine the chi of the design.

~ Black Sect Tantric Buddhism (BTB) Feng Shui is also referred to as Western Feng Shui and has no reliance on the compass directions. The approach has drawn from historic disciplines and adapted them to modern interiors. The bagua is applied to the structure according to the location of the main entry or mouth of chi. There are two levels known as sying and yi. Sying refers to the tangible environmental factors and yi is a will, wish, or intention of the process. Color, Elements, Yin Yang, and I Ching have also been used to this school. (My knowledge is of the Black Sect School of Feng Shui)
The principles of health and prosperity remain the goal, regardless of the school of Feng Shui used to develop an environment . Creating harmony between people and their surroundings will nurture a positive outcome.

Misconception about Feng Shui

Feng Shui does not dictate the style of the interior. While the origins are eastern, it can be applied to western environments. Through space planning, color, lighting, finishes, and attitude any style can change the power of the interior. The western approach incorporates flexibility and is a client-focused approach. I believe that Feng shui can be a practical and common sense approach to interior design.