Feng Shui translates as wind-water and is an ancient Chinese discipline whose philosophy can be traced back several thousands of years. Feng Shui first came into existence from the early time of people settling to farm animals and grow crops. It was initially used to identify safe dwelling places where families would be able to flourish and to determine the best burial sites for relatives. Later it was used to site palaces, government buildings and other public monuments. Even whole cities were designed and built according to core Feng Shui concepts.
The practice of Feng Shui remained an integral part of Chinese culture until recent times when communism temporarily quashed Feng Shui on account of its more mystical elements. The Chinese used it to their advantage in Hong Kong in the construction of the Bank of China building, apparently aware of its capacity for assisting businesses and individuals to thrive.
The classical practice of Feng Shui evolved to make an exacting detailed observation of the natural and man-made environment. In recent times a parallel consideration is the way the earth’s energy affects places, and how they in turn influence their occupants.
In the past, Feng Shui was fundamentally shaped from generation to generation through the cultural paradigms of China, with its unique geography and social structure. However, the essence of Feng Shui does not depend entirely on its cultural aspects and can be synthesised with other bodies of knowledge so that it can be applied equally well to meet the specific requirements of people and places anywhere in the world.
Feng Shui is evolving and contemporary Feng Shui includes aspects of classical Feng Shui schools and draws from and encompasses related disciplines such as environmental psychology, semiotics, ecological design, experimental interior design, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and more. There is also a movement towards scientific validation of Feng Shui.