China in Interior and Architectural design

Feng Shui pronounced‘ fung shway’ and meaning ‘wind and water’ combines Chinese ancient belief with architecture, landscaping and Interior design.  Feng Shui is a visual art, practice and pursuit.  It is said that Feng Shui is best understood for its impact on the Chinese landscape and architecture in the past and for the present on the Eastern and Western architecture and design.  When I think of an interior living or working space with applied Feng Shui I imagine a comfortable, tranquil and harmonious place.

It seems Feng Shui resides in the layout of cities, towns, villages, dwellings, temples and buildings. Even before the inhabitants of ancient China were looking for suitable land on which to live, farm and survive they had already obtained the knowledge and principles of Feng Shui. These have been adjusted and refined over thousands of years by subsequent generations resulting in Feng Shui becoming a geographic and geometric art form.

 Acknowledging the evolving ideas of Feng Shui and correlating this with the knowledge and history available at this point in time we create environments most suitable for living and working in. Although it has fixed important principles that make it never changing, it also has designs and methods that with the passing of time are continually updated due to the accumulation of knowledge which makes it ever changing.

The ‘I Ching’ also known as the book of changes is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. According to this text the Chinese universe consists of heaven (yang) and earth (yin). Heaven itself consists of the sun (yang) and the moon (yin). In turn, earth consists of rivers and streams (yang) and mountains and plains (yin). On those mountains and plains, there are people (yang) and buildings (yin). In people themselves, males (yang) and females (yin) possess an exterior (yang) and interior (yin).

These principles imply that yin and yang should be considered when studying Feng Shui. This Installation was created by Clodagh for the fabric company, Trevira, for a Brussels trade fair. It considers Feng Shui principles, such as the use of water, light, colour, movement, sound and scent, to offer an oasis away from the stress and strain of a long day at the fair.


Modern Architecture in Feng Shui seems to influence the landscape more than natural features and forces. Although nature is still important, it becomes less of a consideration in urban Feng Shui, appearing more as ambience and decoration.

Below the Leo House located in Kelapa Gading, Jakarta, Indonesia is designed by Edy Hartono from Edha Architects. The 240 sqm project is based on Feng Shui art by demand of the owner. The architect combined modern architecture with Feng Shui in a pleasant dialogue. Glass and wood lattice were used for the massive planes of the façade which basically consist of geometric plane. Lighting and air circulation are optimized to the maximum in the interior through glass floors.

Feng Shui Art in Leo House by Edha Architects.

Many people like to Feng Shui their homes after all a home is not an empty box made of plaster, wood or brick where we move our furniture, appliances, personal belongings and selves. The rooms in our home have a major influence on our moods, and how we live. A home is for protection, shelter and security. A Feng Shui expert working on your home would examine the interior space making sure the circulation of ch’i is healthy and balanced. I have read that the way in which the layout out and decoration of your home is designed can improve the atmosphere within it whether it be conflict over the living situation or more personal problems. With its many considerations, a Feng Shui analysis of a home starts at the entrance and proceeds throughout the interior.

‘A room of one’s own’ this living room design blends traditional elements with the modern. The mirror above the fireplace balances the opening below, drawing residents ch’i upward, and plants and flowers flanking the fireplace enhance the energy. Gentle curves are positive attributes, and an area of the room used for another purpose is elegantly screened off.

I study Interior Design and I have found reading about Feng Shui very interesting its so apparent in everything and very influential to Interior and Architectural Design in the past, currently and will continue to be in the future.






One thought on “China in Interior and Architectural design

  1. Interesting that you are bringing up the use of Feng Shui in China. i have found more westerners these days requiring us to incorporate Feng Shui into our design for their offices and facilities throughout China. It seems the concept is beginning to become mainstream in western projects in China.

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