Feng shui : An alternative framework for complexity in design

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-72
Journal / PublicationArchitectural Engineering and Design Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


Building design is a very complex process that requires an integration of creativity, rationality and selforganization. Although there are numerous studies that examine how architects learn and apply their knowledge to design new buildings, the design process still cannot be explicitly defined. Because the way that architectural design knowledge is applied to building design cannot be formulated, the term ‘black box’ is used to represent an architect's design mechanism that cannot be logically explained. Designers use intuition and individual past experiences to make heuristic decisions when tackling new situations in building design. These characteristics are similar to the Chinese philosophy of direct insight into the nature and principles and practice of feng shui as applied to building design. Feng shui is traditional Chinese wisdom aimed at creating harmony among the environment, buildings and people. The aims of this paper are to examine the potential of feng shui knowledge as an alternative approach to building design and to derive a conceptual framework based on the principles and practice of feng shui. © 2008 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Research Area(s)

  • Building design, Complexity in design, Feng shui

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