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What’s Feng Shui got to do with Architecture?

I went through a five-year program for Architecture in Cal Poly, Pomona. During these years, I practically lived in my studio. In fact, all my classmates practically did. In order to meet deadlines one after another, we took turns taking a twenty-minute “power nap” on dusty, sawdust-infested, secondhand sofas or a mattress under our drafting tables. I still remember my roommates coming to my studio and surprising me with dinner and my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) would attend my family holiday events for me and bring me leftovers afterwards. My life in college was Architecture.… It was both my energy and tiredness both night and day none stop! I graduated and received my Architecture degree and fast forward years later, here I am a Designer and Feng Shui professional …You ask.…What? “What’s Feng Shui got to do with Architecture?”

Well, my answer is, “It has everything to do with it.” For me, personally, I believe Architecture and Feng Shui coexist whether we believe it or not. My design language has always been from the user’s point of view. I like to narrate my design with how a user would walk through each of the rooms or space. In order to create a space that narrates a good story, the materials, the furniture, the color, the textures and all other elements need to be in Harmony and Balance with each other. So, how is Harmony and Balance between elements achieved in Architecture or Design? Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese Art and Philosophy that works with all five elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. These elements are all major parts of our homes and buildings. There are different ways the elements can be arranged and the arrangement can either be to consume or “take away,” to destroy or to create.

Consumption cycle goes as such:
Fire takes from wood. Wood takes from water. Water takes from metal. Metal takes from earth. And Earth takes from fire. Another cycle between the elements can be of Destruction. 

Destruction cycle goes as such:
Fire destroys wood. Wood destroys (pierces) earth. Earth destroys water. Water destroys fire. Fire destroys metal. 

Creating cycle goes as such:
Fire creates earth. Earth creates metal. Metal creates water. Water creates wood. And wood creates what? Yes, Fire.  

The creating cycle is then complete. Needless to say, I hope we can all agree that the creating cycle would be a healthy way to keep in mind.

So, “what’s Feng Shui got to do with Architecture?” I believe when I design with these cycles in mind and knowing that each element incorporated carries within itself a certain negative or positive energy towards its surrounding then Feng Shui and Architecture in my personal opinion do co exist.

Incorporating Feng Shui and Architecture has its share of challenges. As a designer, I need to express my concepts in certain ways to remain true to my passion and imagination, to experiment with various combinations of materials, colors, and shapes. However, in my experience I find that there has always been a way to bring the Balance and Harmony into any space. And ultimately, the user defines the space with how they feel and it is up to the designer to intuitively sense what a space is asking for and balances that with what the end user need for the space to do.