35. Feng Shui

Something about feng shui

Feng Shui has gone from orthodox principles, with holistic philosophy and worldview to a plural marketplace of ideas as many different schools coexist, to be interpreted by the individual student. This has some parallels to contemporary design schools, two generations removed from the orthodoxy of Modernism and one generation removed from high Post Modernism and Deconstructivist architecture. Today ideology is suspect, and similar formal gestures akin to a former ‘school’ are often dismissed as ‘style’, but elements and strategies from these older movements are freely taken as precedent or guiding logic.

The most compelling explanation comes courtesy of an uncited passage from wikipedia: “Feng Shui may be simply understood as a traditional test of architectural goodness using a collection of metaphors”

The Skeptic’s Dictionary has this summary for feng shui: “Feng shui is related to the very sensible notion that living with rather than against nature benefits both humans and our environment…that our lives are deeply affected by our physical and emotional environs.” and this criticism of its current use/abuse: “Feng shui has become a kind of architectural acupuncture: wizards and magi insert themselves into buildings or landscapes and use their metaphysical sensors to detect the flow of good and bad “energy.” These masters for hire declare where bathrooms should go, which way doorways should face …”


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