The Art and Science of Feng Shui

Jennifer: Two days ago, a brand-new double bed was delivered to my doorstep. Its arrival came as rather a surprise- after placing an order last month, I had completely forgotten that delivery was to occur at eight o’clock on Thursday morning.

Needless to say, the rearranging of furniture began immediately to accommodate this new arrival and its posturpedic, micro-quilted mattress. As my bedroom doubles as a study, it was essential that the furniture configuration be such that a balance between effective work, and restful sleep, was maintained. For the first time in my life, I decided to explore the ancient art of Feng Shui.

The practice of Feng Shui, dating back thousands of years to early civilisations, attempts to harmonise the flow of energy between nature and people. The intent is to situate the human environment on locations of positive “qi”, or life force. Upon consulting an on-line Feng Shui guru, I established that the configuration of my bedroom furniture did not meet the criteria for a harmonious environment. However, On-Line Feng Shui Guru told me not to panic, assuring me that establishing the most powerful position of my new bed was easily achieved by applying the Commanding Location Principle. I determined that my new bed was to face the door and be easily accessible from both sides, if I wanted to enjoy restorative sleep and correct spinal alignment.

I must own up to my initial scepticism, which no doubt stemmed from my unwillingness to move furniture at eight in the morning. However, whilst on my virtual journey of Feng Shui-discovery, I came across some intriguing scientific research. The advice proffered by On-Line Feng Shui Guru was reinforced by the results of a project carried out by a research team at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales.

The team conducted an empirical survey of architects in Sydney and Hong Kong, exploring the application of what is known as the Form School Principles. The Form School of Feng Shui is touted as more scientific than its counterpart, the Compass School, in analysing built environments. The paper introduces an ideal Feng Shui model for the physical configuration of geographical features according to Form School principles. Interestingly, the survey results suggest that the layout proposed by architects based on a scientific derivation generally concurs with the Feng Shui conventions established more than two thousand years ago.

Bolstered by this scientific evidence, I rearranged my bedroom to ensure a harmonious flow of energy between the furniture and myself, making some exceptions due to the limited space available. The only negative implication of my new-found interest in Feng Shui is the insistence that my bed should remain aesthetically appealing at all times. In other words, I will have to start making it.


  1. True to her usually critical scientific mind I expected Jennifer to find a nice way to ridicule Feng Shui. Her punchy last sentence was the proof…………………..

  2. Fantastic reading! That’s what I call a blog.

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