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Feng Shui: is that magical?

Another myth in the daily activity of architectural and urban planning in the realities of South East Asia are the rules of Feng Shui.


Feng Shui is a pseudoscience originating from China, which claims to be a pseudoscience. Translated from the Chinese word "water and wind", principles that literally can inspire the design of human settlements as well as individual buildings. Every designer who works in Asian contexts knows how important it is to design according to this principle. If nothing else because the end customer will pay a lot of attention to the fact that the projected intervention is inspired by the logic of "Feng Shui".

It is however difficult for a Western designer to be able to fully understand the rules to which this design methodology must adhere, it being understood that it is a methodology or a science and not a set of beliefs and superstitions linked to the influence of environment and its morphological elements (mountains, rivers and waterways, exposure of the building and its orientation) on the future economic success of the development project: a wish for good luck.

However, the principles of "wind and water" are inspired by several well-known architects in tropical contexts and so sensitive to climate change such as Vietnam and beyond, such as Vo Trong Nghia, made famous by his coffee in Binh Duong on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, where installations and bamboo pavilions blend harmoniously with water surfaces and carefully designed landscape and vegetation.

In fact, the cornerstones of that design, used progressively by the famous architect to promote a green architecture that has little to do with sustainable buildings above which hanging gardens are designed, have a much deeper root in the principles of designing buildings and integrated installations with nature.

These principles can be identified, even more than in the architecture of the modern movement, by that organic current that Wright finds in his leading exponent. The principles of integration with nature and the landscape find their full expression in the example of the house on the waterfall. What better integration in nature than in a vision of human settlement in the territory that spreads in the territory and that finds in the modern technology of transport and information a new humanity and democracy as theorized by the teacher in Broadacre City.

If this were the case, the principles of Feng Shui would be nothing but the best architecture born in the early twentieth century and that inspired its masters for generations. Unfortunately in everyday practice, the customer with whom one has on average to do (sic) sees in feng shui a series of rules "the mountain, the crocodile eggs, the waterfall and the dragon" that have nothing to do with with those principles but mostly they are resolved in a sort of magical disposition for good luck and for marketing the project.

Knowing how to discern and educate the client to the good principles of architecture and landscape planning and settlements in a perspective of returning to the traditional community, it seems to me a fundamental mission of every designer who cares for the care and design of the city and its public spaces.

(#fennshui #urbanplanning #landscape #architecture)

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