Conserve Your Ch'i
Retailers use feng shui to create balance and harmony
Can a well-placed mirror, the length of a corridor or the shape of your
company logo encourage customers to spend money in your store? Retailers
such as London's Marks & Spencer think so and have adopted feng shui,
the ancient Chinese art of placement, to optimize energy levels and communicate
Feng shui (pronounced feng shwee) considers the elements of a space shapes,
floor layout, colors, light and how they work together to channel
ch'i (chee), or energy, through a room. Feng shui adherents say ch'i moves
in a gentle curve in an ideally planned space, not too quickly but without
obstruction. Good ch'i brings prosperity, content employees and comfortable
customers. While diagnoses vary, here are some basic feng shui applications.
It should be processional and welcoming. Add elements to create a sense
of security (columns, plants or arches that act as "sentries")
and visual interest (lights, mirrors, trees or fountains that flow toward
the door). Use soundmakers (wind chimes, bells or music) and subtle, natural
aromas (pine or floral) to soothe and stimulate visitors. Moving or three-dimensional
elements in window displays and angled mirrors near the entrance catch pedestrians'
Use smooth, organic lines, avoid sharp edges and observe angles, paths of
movement and acoustics. Lights should be bright but not glaring. Incorporate
living things (plants, trees, fish in aquariums) and moving objects (mobiles,
fountains). The entrances of a room are important: ch'i is inhibited when
doors open to blank walls but escapes if they face windows. Use mirrors
to open up a space and plants, chandeliers or screens to block fast-moving
Use elegant earth tones for an upscale look. One expert suggests small businesses
in general use productive colors green (growth), red (fruition) and
yellow (harvest). For jewelers, the expert suggests decorating the interior
in blues (growth, new beginnings), reds (happiness, passion) and white,
but avoiding yellows (power).
Feng shui divides a space according to the "ba-gua," an octagon
map that identifies power areas (see diagram). Place furniture strategically
according to the power you want to tap; the cash register ideally should
be in the back left corner of the store, for instance. Primary furniture
(such as a showcase) should face the entrance. Anything on the wall should
be hung low so you're not always reaching for something.
Feng shui depends on the earth's five elements, symbolized by shapes and
colors, which work together in a productive order: wood (rectangle, green/
brown) makes fire (triangle, red/pink/ purple), which burns to form earth
(square, yellow), which produces metal (circle, gold/white), which is condensed
to water (wavy shapes, blue/gray/black).
In creating a company logo combine elements that follow each other in
the productive order and use shapes that strengthen weak elements in your
personality. (A circle nourishes a weak water element, for instance. See
Geomancy-Online at www.3dglobe.com/fs
to learn more.)
Clutter is a sure instigator of bad ch'i. Clean out closets, "in"
baskets and messy spaces regularly. One feng shui specialist suggests moving
27 objects that haven't been moved in a year.
by Stacey King
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.