Feng shui is the Chinese art of the placement of buildings and the organization of interior spaces and furniture to create a smooth flow of chi, to energize environments and to create harmony, health and prosperity in the lives and work of the users of the spaces. Feng shui is not design. Feng shui informs design. During the last twenty five years our studio has used a feng shui master on almost all our projects, and where we have not, we have used the precepts of feng shui to guide us to create life enhancing spaces. Feng shui has been around for some two thousand years and variations, such as Vastu, are used in many Asian countries. Often our feng shui master visits the project at the beginning and then comes back at the end to bless it. Feng shui is practical and also spiritual. There have been moments when we felt that there were uneasy spirits and bad energy at a site and our feng shui master has cleared the space so that we can commence the project in a propitious way.
Biogeometry is the science of the effect of shape on energy fields and therefore on the body. Dr. Ibrahim Karim, an Egyptian, has been working with this science for over thirty years. Energy lines emanating from the earth are measurable. Sometimes these lines cross in a manner which has injurious consequences to health. This can be cured by the use of proprietary magnets, altering shapes and the use of color and "silent sound". We have used biogeometry and feng shui together very successfully in a badly located healing center tucked into a car ramp on a site where much waste had been dumped. We worked with the biogeometrist on the site and watched as he dowsed and located and mapped lines on a grid, which he later submitted to us with cures. We placed a ton of quartz crystals under the slab and rounded the corners of columns. Biogeometric shapes were located carefully. The patients who attend the healing center are not aware of this but when we visited one day we heard person after person commenting on how good the space made them feel.
Biophilia refers to the positive influence of nature on all living things. As Bill McDonough said All life on earth is interconnected and interdependent. Biophilia refers to the healing aspects of vibrant nature.
A flash of green grass, a living wall wreathed by vines, a healthy bunny rabbit skipping along a spring morning, basil plant in your kitchen window a bird feeder - scenes like these in the home contribute to the healing effects of nature on the human spirit.
Edmund Wilson and I have a deep concern that we do not care enough for our own back yard as we shoot for space and annihilate our rain forests. Now is a time to think and act local as well as look at the big picture.
I often think of a moment with my husband in Spain ..we were lying on a patch of land by the Mediterranean . He had just bought it. Redolent fig trees, a crumbling stucco wall and the quiet august voice of the Mediterranean were interrupted by Daniel musing..."do you think this land knows that I own it?" Our jobs as "owners" is to take care of the land during the short lease of time we spend on it.(Cree Indian quote about we are caretakers of the land )
Clodagh was driving down through North Island in New Zealand when she rounded a corner and came down a hill to a plain totally covered with lavender plants in full bloom. A sea of lavender. She opened the window to it. Instant calm and happiness. Even the color helped. Every aroma hits different areas in the body and evokes different emotions, from the sexy warmth of ylang ylang to the pure wakeup call of lemon thyme and mint. Clodagh keeps bottles of pure organic essential oils in her bathroom cabinet and every morning before she goes out she chooses a mix to enhance her wellness and joy. Aromatherapy is a great tool. Aromas such as eucalyptus wipe out most microbes, and tea tree oil is a great healer.
The body has seven chakras. Each chakra relates to emotional, spiritual and physical states in the body. In feng shui it is important that each color be represented in a room, or in clothing, or in a garden: then everyone feels comfortable. In chromotherapy, therapists work to strengthen chakras that are weak by energizing them through the use of color. In jails certain colors calm violent inmates. Red is energizing and fires up all the other chakras. Deep indigo helps sleep. Yellow is the color of joy and fear.
The Japanese have one of the most aesthetically refined cultures in the world. Wabi-Sabi is their word for the celebration and reverence of the natural aging of things and creatures (think before you run for Botox). An imperfect glaze on a sake cup is revered. An ancient artisan is called a national treasure. Wabi-sabi implies humble, simple things like an ancient spoon where the stains have united to create a patina, but yet you reach for it because it’s scrubbed and clean. A faded kilim on a reclaimed wide board floor. In a sense, an economic sense of things and a zen acceptance that the new and shiny will eventually acquire a patina and become the new wabi-sabi, as it were. There is an endearing hiccup between antiquity and just badly worn and chipped stuff. Clodagh loves to interfere with surfaces, with acids and washes and hammers or other tools to create instant wabi-sabi, as it’s hard to wait that long! A good patina can be achieved in a day.p>