I have written this blog for two reasons, one is to show you the connection between the ancient art of feng shui and the modern science of Environmental Psychology and two, is to provide you with research that quantifies what the ancients knew – when designing with nature and humans in mind, you create a space that is aligned with the needs of the people and provides them with a healthy, supportive and comfortable environment.
Feng Shui – The Original Environmental Psychology?
ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY studies the relationship between environments and human behavior as well as how they affect one other. Humans react both consciously and unconsciously to the area in which they live and work.
Their environment, whether it be natural or man made, has a profound effect on feelings, behaviors, general health issues, and productivity.
Research in Environmental Psychology started in 1950 with a campaign to improve mental hospitals. Psychologists began trying to solve these problems through improved design. Over the years, problems expanded beyond architectural situations to parks and landscapes, thus creating Environmental Psychology.
A field that had started with investigating color and chair arrangements (Feng Shui?) in mental hospitals moved to tracking visitors in national parks and studying the stresses associated with urban commuting.
You can see from the above definition that Feng Shui and Environmental Psychology are similar in scope, one ancient and intuitive the other modern and scientific.
The ancients were guided by their connection to nature, the chi, yin/yang cycles, the landscape, proportions (fractals), sounds, light, seasons, water, colors, smells and healing plants. They lived in harmony with their environment, believing that we are microcosms of the larger macrocosmic universe.
As we industrialized and urbanized we moved away from nature and lost touch with its benefits and the positive influence it has on our mind, body and spirit. By designing with Feng Shui and Building Biology you can regain those benefits.
For recent research on the benefits of designing with nature – click here