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An Introduction to Feng Shui

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Abstract

Feng Shui has been known in the West for the last 150 years but has mostly been regarded as a primitive superstition. During the modern period successive regimes in China have suppressed its practice. However, in the last few decades Feng Shui has become a global spiritual movement with professional associations, thousands of titles published on the subject, countless websites devoted to it and millions of users. In this book Ole Bruun explains Feng Shui’s Chinese origins and meanings as well as its more recent Western interpretations and global appeal. Unlike the abundance of popular manuals, his Introduction treats Chinese Feng Shui as an academic subject, bridging religion, history and sociology. Individual chapters explain: • the Chinese religious-philosophical background • Chinese uses in rural and urban areas • the history of Feng Shui’s reinterpretation in the West • environmental perspectives and other issues

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... These rituals were "increasingly popularised, siphoning down from the royal court to the lower echelons of Chinese society" (Bruun 2008, 11) and were "eventually adopted as the practice of commoners" (Bruun 2008, 15). Even today, the Yi Jing (The Book of Changes), which constitutes the higher manifestation of divination procedures, remains central to Feng Shui practices (Bruun 2008). ...
... However, whilst in China Feng Shui "merges with ancestor worship, burial customs and beliefs in ghosts and spirits; in the west … it grew in an ambience of ecology, environmentalism, new age religion, psychology and design" (Bruun 2008, 193). When Feng Shui was transported to Western societies, it underwent a radical transformation, generally moving indoors and finding its strongest foothold in private and domestic life (Bruun 2008). The most common application of Feng Shui is to the interior design of homes, where it aims to "stimulate success, health, wealth and happiness" (Brown, 1997, 5). ...
... In areas where the 'Form School' was predominant, in the more mountainous areas of the south and west of China, houses were placed according to important geographical features (including hills, water and other buildings). In areas where the 'Compass School' prevailed, in the lowlands, buildings were placed according to beneficial orientations (Bruun 2008). The latter gave rise to "more orderly and predictable" settlements, planned with "less improvisation" (Bruun 2008, 63) and comprised houses generally orientated towards the south. ...
Article
This paper examines the influence of Feng Shui on urban form and spatial design at multiple levels, from the domestic spaces of the home, through commercial development projects, to the planning and building of cities. It contrasts the ancient power of China’s emperors to directly plan cities according to Feng Shui principles with its indirect influence today, underpinned by cultural and commercial drivers rather than the direct influence of regulation. Although ‘official’ adherence to Feng Shui seems less explicit than it once was, there are signs that it retains a place in the decision-making environment. The paper concludes by advancing a research agenda around the embeddedness of Feng Shui within the cultures of planning regulation and decision making.
... "Fengshui" thus refers to a constellation of ideas and techniques for harmonizing human activities with prevailing terrestrial and celestial forces (Bruun 2008;Feuchtwang 2002). It is a form of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) that focuses on optimizing the flow of life force qi (氣) by designing landscapes in harmony with more-than-human powers. ...
... The mystical elements of fengshui, including its grounding in an abstract correlative cosmology that has spread worldwide, render many of its practices, particularly in urban, metropolitan, and international contexts, alien to contemporary conceptions of "ecology," "environment," and indigenous sense of place. This has led many to assume, quite reasonably, that fengshui has little to do with the environment (Bruun 2008). An understanding of the role of fengshui in village landscapes belies this misapprehension of the vital role that it plays in compact farming villages in southern China, which we call "wind-water polities" to denote the ultimate importance of their spiritual ecologies for multi-generational community livelihood and sustainability. ...
... Although having some elements derived from early agricultural rituals, feng shui first rose as an independent practice following the rise of Neo-Confucianism during the Song dynasty (AD 960-1126) (Bruun, 2008;Eitel, 1984). The thinking promoted the spiritual connection between heaven, earth, and the human by popularising the conception of Qi. ...
... The presence of vegetation is significant here as an indication of Qi (Clayden & Dixon, 2007). Similar attention to a burial's surrounding vegetation exists in other regions in southern China (Bruun, 2008). Thus the Hong family decided to move the tomb, using this as an opportunity to find a site that would mean that even greater successes might be granted to the family. ...
Article
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For centuries feng shui structured the practice of burial in China, only to be prohibited during the People’s Republic when it was declared illegal. With the Reform and Opening-up policy after 1978, feng shui practices have surreptitiously been revived. This paper explores these burial rituals and the way they are impacting on the landscape, both physically and socially. After providing some historical context to indicate how burial was practised prior to the Republican era, this paper explores how feng shui has been revived after 1978. With case studies from Zhejiang province, the work of two practitioners is followed, one in a rural area, and the other in an affluent city. In this region cremation of remains has become the norm since 1997, yet feng shui burial has continued to be practised. While feng shui is possible within public cemeteries, plots in the countryside are also common. With increasing wealth and mobility, the option of feng shui burial is now available to many, which can cause conflicts raising questions as to the need for legalisation of the practice and regulatory policies.
... Feng shui was rst the subject of anthropological research in the West (e.g., De Groot, 1897;Needham, 1956;Freedman, 1968;March, 1968;Feuchtwang, 1974) as one of many traditional Chinese divination techniques that have been an important social phenomenon throughout Chinese history (Kubny, 2008). e techniques have evolved throughout history, from a privileged practice reserved for high society to a practice intended for everyday use and the common man (Bruun, 2003(Bruun, , 2008. At the same time, they evolved from a rather passive technique, the primary purpose of which is accident prevention, to an active practice, the primary purpose of which is to ensure happiness. ...
... In addition to contemporary anthropological research (e.g., Hwangbo, 1999;Bruun, 2003Bruun, , 2008Paton, 2013), the most interesting areas of contemporary study of feng shui are the comparison between feng shui and sustainable construction (e.g., Yoon, 1980;Dan, 1994;Han, 2001;Xu, 2003;Chen & Nakama, 2004) and the study of traditional buildings and urban arrangements (built in accordance with feng shui recommendations; e.g., Nemeth, 1987;Xu, 1998;Kalland, 1999;ongkamsamut & Buranakarn, 2007;Chiang, 2009;Mak, 2014;Gray, 2017). Feng shui-related contributions in contemporary architecture and urbanism are fewer than one would expect, given the active use of feng shui in the Asian world. ...
Article
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Feng shui is a traditional Chinese art of creating a supportive living environment. Despite many research contributions on feng shui, very few verify (comparatively or experimentally) the actual effectiveness of feng shui recommendations. Even the architectural profession has never clearly denied its opinion on feng shui. This comparative analysis seeks to determine whether 118 selected feng shui school of form recommendations are consistent with the recommendations of Alexander et al.’s pattern language and with selected findings in environmental psychology. The results support this, showing that 34% of the recommendations (or forty recommendations out of 118 in total) are consistent with pattern language and that 45% (or fifty-three recommendations) are fully or partially consistent with the findings of environmental psychology. Altogether, more than half of the recommendations (57%, or sixty-seven recommendations) are consistent (indirectly confirmed) by one or the other knowledge system, which means that it is very likely that these recommendations will actually have the promised impact on users of physical space. Twenty-seven feng shui recommendations (or 23% out of the 118) are doubly consistent, of which most are related to the five-animals feng shui model, the importance of the presence of water and natural light in the living environment, and the importance of the main entrance. The bulk of the recommendations, which remain unaddressed, relate to the Chinese concept of living energy, or qi.
... Feng Shui, daha fazla mutluluk, dengeli kişilik ve iç tasarım için mekânları yeniden şekillendirmek veya düzenlemek, kariyer fırsatlarını ve çalışma performansını iyileştirmek, basit yaşama odaklanmak, çevre ile uyumlu ilişkiler kurmak gibi popüler arayışlarda kullanılmaktadır. Bununla birlikte, Feng Shui çalışanların sağlık ve performansını iyileştirmek, mimarlık ilkelerini yenilemek, kliniklerin ve hastanelerin performansını iyileştirmek gibi farklı hizmetlerde yaygın bir şekilde uygulanmaktadır (Bruun, 2008). ...
... "Nefes" veya "Doğanın Nefesi" şeklinde çevrilebilen Chi kavramı, Çin doğal felsefesinin temelidir ve Chi evrendeki her şeye nüfuz etmektedir (Xu, 1990;Bruun, 2008;Menen, 2011). Chi fiziksel, çevresel ve duygusal dengeyi korumak için gerekli olan soluktur. ...
Conference Paper
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The rise of Feng Shui, which emerged as an East Asian philosophy, in the west and the increasing interest in this philosophy have caused Feng Shui to become applicable in many places today. Feng Shui, which has been practiced for five thousand years in China, literally means “wind and water”, and is an art of living in harmony with the earth. Basic concepts of Feng Shui are Chi, Yin-Yang and five elements. Chi is the most important element of the philosophy of Feng Shui and is the energy of life in everything in the world. One of the important tools used in Feng Shui applications is Bagua map. Bagua (ba: eight, gua: area) is used as the settlement guide in Feng Shui, and has an area center and nine divisions. In Feng Shui, Bagua is used as a mystical tool to diagnose the lack of balance in space and life. The main purpose of Feng Shui is to observe nature, adapt to nature and protect nature. Feng Shui plays an important role in landscape quality assessment, landscape restoration, harmony between nature and man, and most importantly, as important as the day-to-day preservation and enrichment of space identity. What is important here is the settlement and balancing of the Yin-Yang energy. Feng Shui remedies and recommendations are available to provide this balance in a home garden. The garden can be design in line with Feng Shui’s recommendation; colors, plants, trees, workshops, water elements, garden furniture, lighting, wind chimes and other garden accessories. In this research, a home garden landscape design project based on Feng Shui philosophy, basic concepts and applications was made. The effects of the philosophy on the people and the garden design were measured by the photo-surveys and evaluated with analyzes. As a result of the research, the positive effect suggested by the philosophy have been confirmed by the application of the Feng Shui principles to the garden design. In addition, it has been determined that concrete findings obtained by blending landscape design criteria and Feng Shui principles can be used in the field of landscape design. In particular, new perspectives for garden designs based on the Feng Shui principles have been established and various proposals have been made for disciplines related to the subject.
... Therefore, in ancient times, Feng Shui chose the positions between mountains and rivers to build settlements [50]. From the artistic perspective, this site selection layout is conducive to borrowing scenery, that is, using mountains and rivers to create visual order and a sense of harmony [51,52]. This type of selection and location is also enlightening from the perspective of contemporary science: ...
Article
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Based on the landscape architecture of traditional settlements in southern China, this study takes water as a vital element through field investigation and model analysis to explore the water management strategies of two traditional villages in Xiangjiang River Basin, Hunan Province. We have found that traditional settlements are located between rivers and mountains. The community of the settlement has a strong interaction with the water environment. The water management system consists of two parts: the rainwater collection and storage system of a single building and the settlement’ s water collection and drainage system. Through calculation, we found that the amounts of water collected (per year) between the two villages are different: ZhangGuYing (Z village) = 5.73 million L, ShangGanTang (S village) =1.784 million L, in spite of the fact that water management strategies of the two settlements are similar. Further analysis shows that the difference is related to the adaption of the precipitation and topography of the surrounding areas. The above-mentioned systematic management strategy of water resources has been used until currently, with adaptability, low cost, and sustainability. It has outstanding significance for the current demand for sustainable development from both resource management and cultural aspects.
... Hum means "heavenly path," which refers to the invisible forces while Yue means "earthly path" which is related to the natural forms of the earth. In later developments, the term Feng Shui started to be used (Bruun, 2008). The word feng shui comes from two Chinese words, Feng which means wind, and Shui which means water. ...
Article
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Feng shui was a part of the cultural heritage of ancient Chinese society mainly used to design buildings and spaces according to the birth date or the basic elements of the owner or the person who occupied a building to achieve harmony and balance with the environment aimed to bring peace and prosperity. Feng shui practices had become a matter of debate among Christians. The question was whether feng shui practices such as calculations in building construction, determining the direction a tomb should face, or finding a date to start a business did not conflict with God's Word. From a non-theological point of view, feng shui was well accepted because it seemed reasonable. This article discussed feng shui from a theological perspective by referring to Colossians 2:8. In the research of this article, the researchers used a qualitative descriptive method with an exposition approach where data collection was obtained from literature studies and interviews. The results of the discussion on this topic showed that theologians concurred that feng shui did not correspond with God's Word, while the Bible interpreted feng shui as a false philosophy. The conclusion drawn was the rejection of feng shui practices by theologians and the Bible.
... For example, China and South Korea still have specialized higher education institutions to train practitioners of traditional medicine, and many people regularly visit licensed clinics to get treatments in acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and herbal medicines (Park et al. 2012). Another good example is feng shui, which originated from ancient Chinese cosmology that was deeply intertwined with the political and social structure of traditional society (Bruun 2008). The phrase feng shui literally means "wind and water," and it concerns the invisible force qi that permeates everything in the universe. ...
Article
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Despite the long-standing interest among science educators in using history of science in science teaching, little has been discussed around whether and how non-Western histories of science could be incorporated into science education. This study considers some opportunities and challenges of addressing East Asian history of science (EAHOS) in the science teacher education context, drawing on postcolonial science studies and global history of science. Eight undergraduate preservice science teachers (PSTs) participated in sessions on EAHOS. Our aim was to investigate the PSTs’ perceptions relating to the nature of EAHOS and its relevance to science teaching. Using interviews and reflective essays, we explore the tension coming from their dual positions as science teachers and East Asian people as they entered into the unfamiliar territory of EAHOS. When they were considering themselves specifically as science teachers, they tended to focus on the aspects of EAHOS as knowledge and concluded that it has little to do with achieving the aims of science teaching because is not part of modern science. On the contrary, when they were talking about their roles as teachers in general, they were able to come up with several educational benefits that EAHOS can offer to students, particularly in its relation to worldview and history. Additionally, several mixed feelings were expressed about the way EAHOS is often portrayed as “our” history about “our” science. Overall, the experience of exploring and discussing EAHOS provided the PSTs with an opportunity to critically reflect on science education and their responsibility as teachers in the context of broader society and culture.
... Konsep feng shui kemudian keluar dari Tiongkok dan menyebar ke seluruh dunia, termasuk Nusantara. Bruun (2008) mengatakan, feng shui dengan cepat menjadi seni penempatan yang dikenal secara global dan dipraktikkan secara menyeluruh. Penyebaran di Dunia Barat berkembang setelah peminatan orang-orang AS dan Eropa terhadap Agama Buddha pada akhir 1990an. ...
Article
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Feng shui is the concept of harmonizing nature and the environment which is the spiritual foundation of Chinese society for a building, including religious place (kelentengs). The concept of feng shui is also applied to kelentengs in Bali which were built around 19th century. This research aims to identify application of feng shui which reflected in its aspects and classify the types of kelentengs in Bali. The method of data collection by literature study, field observations and interviews. The data obtained then carried out for further processing and analysis. Research result shows that feng shui, fully and partially implemented in several aspects and there are also adaptations toward those aspects. Based on the type of classification, in Bali there are 3 (three) types of kelentengs called Taoist Kelentengs, General Kelentengs and Community Kelentengs. Feng shui adalah konsep harmonisasi alam dan lingkungan yang merupakan landasan spiritual masyarakat Tionghoa dalam mendirikan sebuah bangunan, termasuk sarana ibadah (kelenteng). Konsep feng shui juga diterapkan pada kelenteng-kelenteng di Bali yang dibangun sekitar abad ke-19 Masehi. Tujuan penelitian ini adalah untuk mengidentifikasi penerapan feng shui yang tercermin dalam aspek-aspeknya dan mengklasifikasikan jenis kelenteng yang ada di Bali. Metode pengumpulan data dilakukan dengan studi pustaka, observasi lapangan dan wawancara. Data-data yang diperoleh di lapangan ini kemudian dikumpulkan, serta dilakukan pengolahan dan analisis lebih lanjut. Hasil penelitian yang didapat dari lapangan yaitu adanya penerapan feng shui pada beberapa aspek, baik penerapan secara penuh maupun parsial dan adaptasi terhadap aspek feng shui tersebut. Berdasarkan jenis klasifikasinya, di Bali terdapat 3 (tiga) jenis kelenteng yaitu Kelenteng Tao, Kelenteng Umum dan Kelenteng Masyarakat.
... Even smart, educated, emotionally stable adults are subject to superstitious beliefs (Risen, 2016). Whether this is the perceived unluckiness of Friday the 13th in modern western culture (Kolb and Rodriguez, 1987), traditional African witchcraft (Middleton and Winter, 2013), or feng shui in the Chinese architecture (Bruun, 2008), the purpose of the superstition is one and the same. Namely, people follow superstitious beliefs to attract good (avoid bad) fortune by means of associating (disassociating) oneself with something that will supernaturally cause a desired (undesired) outcome. ...
Article
We investigate a new channel that leads to firm-specific stock price crash risk. By using Chinese superstition towards unlucky numbers as a platform for our analysis, we find that investor overreaction to negative news from firms with unlucky listing codes is a mechanism through which superstition affects crash risk. We also show that the effect of superstition on crash risk is more pronounced during volatile periods, down markets, and for more opaque firms. Our results suggest that superstition acts as a substitute for information and leads to adverse consequences when investors are faced with greater uncertainty.
... Feng is wind and shui is water. So the notion of feng shui is the concept of spatial regulation that harmonizes environmental conditions with the flow of air (wind) and water around us [29]. We can see the background of the application of feng shui to the Chinatown spatial layout on elements related to natural structures that have been formed and become part of the area such as rivers, land or locations and building elements represented by residential buildings, shop buildings, temple and road building. ...
... Beyond that, Chinese people in Semarang's Chinatown are able to maintain their cultural environment. Considering that Chinese people strongly believe in the concept of FengShui, i.e. an ancient topography from China that believes in how humans, heaven (astronomy) and earth (geography) can live in harmony to help improve our life by accepting Positive Qi [11]- [13]. Those beliefs that make the cultural environment in Chinatown long lasting. ...
... Fengshui (風水) literally means "wind-water," but in addition to denoting crucial climatic elements of the living environment, it refers to a constellation of ideas and techniques for harmonizing human activities with the terrestrial and celestial forces that govern them (Bruun 2008;Feuchtwang 2002). Often translated as "geomancy," it is a form of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) best understood as a form of cosmo-ecology in which the optimization of universal vital life force (qi 氣) is contingent on human design in harmony with more-than-human powers. ...
Article
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The “spirit” in spiritual ecology is an active political force deserving sustained scholarly analysis and public recognition. This article reports on 15 years of field research on “animate landscapes,” associated with gods and spirits in Tibetan communities, and “vital landscapes” associated with fengshui in Han Villages. Despite a century of dramatic sociopolitical change across rural areas in the People’s Republic of China, many villages maintain significant geo-phenomenological connections between body, mind, and land, comprising a body politic maintained through ritual cycles and dwelling practices that uphold the sanctity and integrity of vital watersheds. Comparative analysis of Han and Tibetan spiritual ecologies reveals that cosmological landscapes comprise the armature of relational ontologies grounding and informing everyday life, livelihood, and power relations. As dynamic, emergent, and flexible systems of socio-ecological adaptation that both shape and are shaped by regional and transnational media, they play significant roles in policy initiatives associated with Ecological Civilization and hold potential for broadening the horizons of Anthropocene scholarship, socio-ecological activism, and meaningful settlement in a profoundly unsettled world.
... monuments) in accordance with Bibo Feng shui, reintroducing originally planted tree species would not only revive traditional landscapes of the past, but also promote a sense of identity and attachment toward KVGs (Luo et al., 2009). Second, it is important to understand that the management of KVGs is linked to the concept of sustainability (Bruun, 2008). Despite decreased roles in modern contexts, KVGs still play a role in Korean rural communities. ...
Article
This study seeks to discover whether historical village groves in Korea are, as previous studies on sacred groves (SGs) have found, better conserved than protected forests (PFs). In this study, we measured tree ages in four Korean village groves (KVGs) and one PF in Korea. The KVG trees were found to be statistically younger than those of the PF (Seorak Forest), indicating that significant age gaps exist between the actual tree ages and the historical ages of KVGs. The results may be attributed to the unique management strategies of the KVGs. Rather than preserving KVGs as undisturbed forests, they have historically been managed to optimize the utilitarian benefits to agricultural activities in rural society. Our findings suggest future management strategies for conserving KVGs.
... Rice paddies are typically found "in front" of the village, between the built area (7), mountains bounding the floodplain (9) and the village/water tail fengshuilin elements of correlative cosmology, in which symbolic associations between different domains and scales -ranging from the human body, to the landscape, to broader geographic features, and finally to the realm of astronomy -are conceptually linked and thought to be mutually influential, especially from larger phenomena down to finer scales. 19 On a final note regarding fengshui and fengshuilin as historical ecological adaptations, just as we must avoid conflating ancient ethno-ecological theories and practices with the teleological and ontological assumptions that constitute the foundations of modern environmental science, 20 we must also avoid the assumption that village-level management of local watersheds prevented largerscale environmental degradation across southern and central China. Village fengshui landscapes comprise small sections of vast watersheds, and assiduous management of watersheds in the upper reaches of large drainage basins alone is not sufficient to maintain large-scale regional hydrological stability or to prevent soil loss, sedimentation, deforestation, biodiversity decline, and other forms of long-term historical environmental degradation that have been well-documented. ...
Article
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Chinese lineage villages are social-ecological systems (SESs) designed according to principles of fengshui ("wind-water"). Fengshui is a composite of cosmological beliefs and landscape management strategies, including the protection of sacred groves, aimed at optimizing the collective, long-term wellbeing of lineage groups by enhancing long-term natural and social resilience. Along with other adaptive management features, village fengshui forests promote social-ecological vigor by conserving plant, soil, and water resources, enhancing social memory, and serving as living models of resilience in the face of social, economic, and political changes. Modern programs to transform rural communities through state-led agricultural production systems included bans on fengshui practice and the destruction of forests. Many communities protected their fengshui forests, providing contemporary opportunities for local, regional, national, and international conservation initiatives incorporating locally preserved forests. Permalink: usfca.edu/center-asia-pacific/ perspectives/v15n2/coggins-minor
... Feng Shui is the traditional Chinese pseudo-scientific doctrine of "geomancy", that is, divination in accordance with the geographical and morphological features of the terrain (Yi et al. 1994, Bruun 2008. In a nutshell, the idea is that special locations exhibiting particular features are favorable from the point of view of encapsulating and enhancing "qi", a "positive energy" allegedly flowing on the Earth, and are therefore to be preferred for city planning and especially for tombs' locations. ...
Article
The royal Chinese mausoleums of the Tang, Ming and Qing Chinese dynasties are astounding ensables of monuments, conceived and built to assure to the Emperors immortality in the afterlife and perennial fame on earth. To this aim, a series of cognitive elements were embodied in the funerary landscapes selected for such monuments, including astronomy, general topography, and traditional Chinese geomancy. Taking advantage of satellite imagery, we investigate here on this issue in a general manner. In particular, we develop and apply a rigorous approach to investigate if magnetic compass was used in the planning of such monuments.
... The three forests, Guling, Houping, and Taining, are considered old-growth (the largest trees are > 200 yr old), and represent an urban-to-rural gradient (Fig. 1, Supporting Information Fig. S1) across which the extent of pollution and N deposition vary: Guling forest is 10 km from Fuzhou, a city with a population of 7 million, Houping forest is 15 km from Nanping, a city with a population of 500 000, and Taining forest is located in a rural area and has received less N deposition in the past decades than Guling and Houping forests (Chen et al., 2011;Zheng et al., 2012). To our knowledge, neither fertilizers nor any management practices have been applied in the selected forests in the past 100 yr; indeed, these forests are locally considered as 'Fengshui' forests and are protected by the indigenous residents under traditional Chinese geomancy beliefs (Bruun, 2008). ...
Article
The impact of long-term nitrogen (N) deposition is under-studied in phosphorus (P)-limited subtropical forests. We exploited historically collected herbarium specimens to investigate potential physiological responses of trees in three subtropical forests representing an urban-to-rural gradient, across which N deposition has probably varied over the past six decades. We measured foliar [N] and [P] and stable carbon (δ(13) C), oxygen (δ(18) O) and nitrogen (δ(15) N) isotopic compositions in tissue from herbarium specimens of plant species collected from 1947 to 2014. Foliar [N] and N : P increased, and δ(15) N and [P] decreased in the two forests close to urban centers. Consistent with recent studies demonstrating that N deposition in the region is (15) N-depleted, these data suggest that the increased foliar [N] and N : P, and decreased [P], may be attributable to atmospheric deposition and associated enhancement of P limitation. Estimates of intrinsic water use efficiency calculated from foliar δ(13) C decreased by c. 30% from the 1950s to 2014, contrasting with multiple studies investigating similar parameters in N-limited forests. This effect may reflect decreased photosynthesis, as suggested by a conceptual model of foliar δ(13) C and δ(18) O. Long-term N deposition may exacerbate P limitation and mitigate projected increases in carbon stocks driven by elevated CO2 in forests on P-limited soils.
... Moreover, the specific outputs produced often only focus on certain aspects of a particular building and are mostly not applicable to any other buildings. However, owners and occupants who are more concerned about their well-being also require critical evaluation of the spiritual dimension of the built environment, especially in relation to Feng-Shui – a belief system that explores the well-being of occupants as determined by the appropriate arrangement of a physical setting (Bruun, 2008)1. To this end, there is a surprising congruence between this spiritual system and the scientific / practical basis for achieving comfort, privacy and behavioral effectiveness in daily life through well-considered spatial planning, which ultimately contributes to the individual strength and progress of families or organizations. ...
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This keynote speech is an attempt to point out the development of environment-behavior knowledge as potentially valuable information in the two major phases of the design cycle – namely programming and post-occupancy evaluation. The underlying constraints and enhancements are discussed in connection with various players involved in the process, as well as the emerging social concerns of designers. The concluding remarks introduce two more factors related to the intrinsic nature of human behavior – adaptation and culture – as topics for further and more intensive investigation. By gaining better understandings of the environment-behavior transactions, such formative inputs incorporated into the design process would lead to the formulation of more people-centric design guidelines.
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China’s ongoing rural transition has led to dramatic infrastructural improvements in rural areas, yet local culture continues to decline. In rural east China fengshui has traditionally informed local building practice and has been revived since the “Reform and Opening” policy of 1978. It is practiced in those regions that have not yet been subjected to wholesale demolition and renewal, where residents are able to express a distinct connection to their homes. Adhering to fengshui enables an everyday placemaking process of engagement involving both practitioner and villagers. Through ethnographic field studies in rural Zhejiang province, this paper reveals how in a period of rapid rural transition the engagement with and (re)interpretation of fengshui contribute to the preservation of local building culture and community spirit. We argue that the findings indicate a need for much greater resident involvement in rural regeneration projects.
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This article focuses on understanding and developing the perception of monolithic architecture and its relationship with hylomorphism through autoethnography method as the example of the historical cupola cistern in Turkey as a human scale building type. The article focuses on understanding spaces or spatial components that excite and impel us in our first architectural encounter. Some monolithic forms bring up the concept of hylomorphism, while they contain a spatiality that emphasizes or is reminiscent of the body in human perception. This article focuses on the relationship between monolithic spaces, interpreted as muted architecture, regarding hylomorphism as critically developed by Aristotle and Simondon.
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Present day Beijing developed on the urban layout of the Ming capital, founded in 1420 over the former city of Dadu, the Yuan dynasty capital. The planning of Ming Beijing aimed at conveying a key political message, namely that the ruling dynasty was in charge of the Mandate of Heaven, so that Beijing was the true cosmic centre of the world. We explore here, using satellite imagery and palaeomagnetic data analysys, symbolic aspects of the planning of the city related to astronomical alignments and to the feng shui doctrine, both in its “form” and “compass” schools. In particular, we show that orientations of the axes of the “cosmic” temples and of the Forbidden City were most likely magnetic, while astronomy was used in topographical connections between the temples and in the plan of the Forbidden City in itself.
Chapter
Feng Shui and the City examines the past and contemporary influences of Feng Shui on Chinese built environments across three domains: domestic space, spaces of commercial development and the public realm. This opening chapter introduces the meaning and origins of Feng Shui before examining the way that places/spaces everywhere are the products of cultural praxis. Societies imprint their values onto the spaces of their dwelling: the production of space is a social process. From that position, the chapter outlines a perspective on Feng Shui and the City which uses Lefebvre’s (1991) notion of absolute and abstract space: spaces of ‘cosmic naturalness’, ‘symbolic existence’ and ‘everyday life’ versus spaces of domination and control. It is proposed that Feng Shui, as cultural referent, has transitioned from symbolism to an instrument of commodification: a proposition then tested in two cases, which set up a broader discussion of modern Feng Shui’s authenticity.
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The second of two case study chapters shifts attention to Hong Kong: a city shielded from broader Chinese economic and political reform for much of its recent history, and still afforded special status today (although that status is now being significantly curtailed). Drawing again on interviews with local informants, the chapter explores past and current relationships with Feng Shui before turning to the spaces of Feng Shui in contemporary Hong Kong. Whilst there is much similarity with Guangdong, the presence of global capital and actors in the city appears to accentuate Feng Shui’s commercial purpose: as a nod to tradition that, on balance, is more concerned with value extraction. But as in Guangdong, that view contends with the complexities of Feng Shui’s more abstract purpose, spanning symbolism and control. There is risk in seeing authenticity as absolute rather than as something adaptive and dynamic.
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An introduction to Archaeoastronomy in Asia, with a detailed discussion of the Chinese Qin and Han mausoleums, of the temples of Angkor, and of the Borobodur temple complex.
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The present research focuses on the perils of misinterpretation implied by the pulling out of Buddha’s representations out of their original context and their adaptation to the feng shui doctrine. The Laughing Buddha and Bhaiṣajyaguru are analysed in the context of feng shui practice, concluding that eclecticism conjugated with nescience make serious disservices to the correct understanding of religious representations.
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Feng šui je tradicionalna kitajska umetnost oblikovanja podpornega bivalnega okolja. Kljub številnim fengšuiskim znanstvenim prispevkom se jih zelo malo ukvarja s (primerjalnim ali eksperimentalnim) preverjanjem dejanske ucinkovitosti fengšuiskih priporocil. Tudi arhitekturna stroka se do pojava nikoli ni jasno opredelila. Izvedena primerjalna analiza poskuša zato odgovoriti na raziskovalno vprašanje, ali je izbranih118 priporocil fengšuiske šole oblike usklajenih s priporocili jezika vzorcev Alexandra in sodelavcev ter izbranimi spoznanji okoljske psihologije. Rezultati pritrjujejo raziskovalnemu vprašanju in kažejo, da je 34% (40 priporocil od118) priporocil usklajenih z jezikom vzorcev in da je 45% (53) v celoti ali delno usklajenih s spoznanji okoljske psihologije. Skupaj je v okviru enega ali drugega sistema znanja skladna (posredno potrjena) dobra polovica (natancneje 57% ali 67) priporocil, kar pomeni, da obstaja velika verjetnost, da ta priporocila dejansko imajo na uporabnike prostora vpliv, kot ga obljubljajo. Dvojno skladnih je 27 priporocil (23%), pri cemer se jih najvec povezuje s fengšuisko shemo petih živali, pomenom prisotnosti vode in naravne svetlobe v bivalnem okolju ter pomenom glavnega vhoda. Najvecji del priporocil, ki ostane neprekritih, se povezuje s kitajskim konceptom življenjske energije qi (izg.ci).
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Ernest Johann Eitel (1838–1908) was a sinologist and linguist; a German Lutheran missionary whose thesis on Chinese Buddhism gained him a doctoral degree at the University of Tübingen; he went in 1870 to Hong Kong and lived there for many years overseeing educational enterprises, before travelling widely within China. He published a substantial appraisal of the history, metaphysics, and functioning of feng shui. Appraising Eitel’s important claims about the centrality of experiment in modern science and its absence from traditional Chinese science is an occasion not just for historical study but for scientific/philosophical analysis of what constitutes an experiment, specifically a controlled experiment, and its role in science. Eitel identifies two major astronomical problems for feng shui theory: the precession of the equinoxes and missing planets. He provides an outline history of feng shui in which he maintains that while the leading principles of feng shui have their roots in antiquity, and it did not rise as a distinct branch of study or professional practice till the Song dynasty (AD 960–1126), nevertheless the history of the leading ideas and practices of feng shui is the history of Chinese philosophy.
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Feng shui was never just a speculative or metaphysical worldview, from the beginning, it was connected to practice; it impinged on all features of life. In China, for at least 3000 years, feng shui in one form or another has dictated major commercial and domestic siting and construction decisions as well as the proper internal arrangement of offices, homes, kitchens, gardens, furniture, and decorations. For the same period, countless millions have relied on feng shui astrological guides to make business decisions and for the timing for significant personal and family events. Traditionally, feng shui was linked to geomancy or fortune telling. Feng shui has an enormous presence in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Advent of the World Wide Web has dramatically expanded feng shui influence and business. Manipulation of internal chi is the basis of qigong exercise and of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A foundational text is the Confucian classic Book of Changes (or I Ching) whose impact has extended over 3000 years and has now spread well beyond China, being embraced in the countercultural, multicultural, and postmodernist West over the past 50 years.
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In this book, David Bello offers a new and radical interpretation of how China's last dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911), relied on the interrelationship between ecology and ethnicity to incorporate the country's far-flung borderlands into the dynasty's expanding empire. The dynasty tried to manage the sustainable survival and compatibility of discrete borderland ethnic regimes in Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and Yunnan within a corporatist 'Han Chinese' imperial political order. This unprecedented imperial unification resulted in the great human and ecological diversity that exists today. Using natural science literature in conjunction with under-utilized and new sources in the Manchu language, Bello demonstrates how Qing expansion and consolidation of empire was dependent on a precise and intense manipulation of regional environmental relationships.
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Feng shui is a system of beliefs and practices originating some three to four thousand years ago that is concerned with identifying, charting, and utilizing the supposed all-encompassing flow of chi or qi, the putative universal life force, so that people’s lives and their habitat can be brought into harmony with it, made more natural, and so improved. It is a worldview and is a significant feature of Chinese and south-east Asian cultures. But it has long migrated from Asia and has an increasing international commercial and personal presence. As a writer in the American Institute of Architects newsletter commented: ‘Feng Shui is no longer just an ancient Chinese secret. While slow to take root outside of its original heartland, it is now global and transcends culture and politics’ (Knoop 2001). Feng shui is a growth industry, yet it is a neglected topic in science education. It is also ignored in most philosophical discussions of pseudoscience and the demarcation dispute; discussions where it might be expected to be mentioned and used as a case study.
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Joseph Agassi has published extensively on history, philosophy, sociology and the politics of science. Less known, he has over a long span of time published intriguing work on education. In them Agassi discusses pseudoscience, superstition, ‘intellectual rubbish’, and other such common commitments. He endeavours to tease out the identifying philosophical features of such positions; and their social psychology, specifically why are they believable?
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ABSTRAK Uraian untuk memaknai unsur-unsur arsitektur bangunan tradisional Tionghoa, seringkali dilakukan secara sebagian-sebagian saja dari seluruh komponen bangunan. Penelitian ini memaparkan pendekatan lain, bahwa konsep arsitektur bangunan vernacular Tionghoa secara integral dapat dimaknai dengan cepat dan tepat, baik global maupun detail komponennya dengan menggunakan medium analisis pemahaman kosmologi tradisional Tionghoa. Dipaparkan uraian singkat dari pokok utama falsafah dasar tradisional Tionghoa hasil pemikiran para cendekiawan kuno dalam jangkauan pengetahuan pada masanya. Menarik untuk diperhatikan bahwa hasil perenungan yang bila dibandingkan dalam konteks ilmu pengetahuan sekarang, pemikiran yang merupakan tahap konsep proto-science dapat persistent bertahan sampai kini dalam ilmu terapan seperti terlihat pada contoh yang diberikan. Penelitian ini dilakukan secara eksplorasi, eksplikasi, dan penafsiran hermeunatik. ABSTRACT The effort to understand the meaning of traditional Chinese vernacular architecture, most of the time was done by exploring partial components of the building. This paper shows a different approach that the whole integral Chinese vernacular building can be interpreted conveniently through understanding traditional Chinese cosmology. Short descriptions are given for each major traditional phylosophycal subjecs. It is very interesting to note that those proto-science ideas are persistently being applied to present situation as shown by some of the samples. This research is done through exploration, explanation, and interpretative hermeunatics.
Article
This article addresses popular mobilizations in repressive regimes, with China as a case in point. It argues that such mobilizations are very different from those in democratic societies and may not be captured in the single-stranded rationalism promoted by much social movement theory. Without access to political representation and stable outlets for social criticism, mobilizations are likely to be set off by 'trigger events', just as their growth occurs through distinct phase shifts. A range of Chinese mobilizations over the last several years are introduced. They tend to show that people initially are driven by simple causes rather than 'ideology', and often with an ingrained conflict of beliefs. Yet, due to regime reprisal, it may be a short step from addressing a small local issue to challenging the political system as a whole. With reference to complexity theory it is shown that emergent new forms of organized resistance will never follow a linear and predictable development but will be contextually embedded and continually exchanging with that particular cultural and political environment. Thus, when we see the sudden growth of movements which step over the threshold into open discontent and public resistance, the outcome for both the movement itself and the system as a whole is inherently unpredictable. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
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Chinese geomancy ( feng shui ) holds that if a man is buried in a properly sited grave, his descendants will prosper; and that the siting of houses, cities, and whole regions similarly works good or ill for their inhabitants. Although taken seriously by many eminent thinkers of traditional China (the philosopher Chu Hsi, for example), it is likely to impress us today on first encounter as a baffling and silly mishmash of things better sorted out as physical science, religion, esthetics, psychology, philosophy, and sociology. Understanding is easier if we can look on it as first, a kind of integral experience, and second, certain meanings given to such experience.
Article
Although there are many variables affecting the housing price of an area, only three significant independent variables ('Feng Shui,' 'Accessibility,' and 'Building Age') are studied in this paper. It is found that the correlation between 'Feng Shui' and 'Housing Price' is the highest, yielding a regression coefficient of 0.95. The one between 'Feng Shui' and 'Building Age' is - 0.699. It implies that areas with better Feng Shui have more new houses. The propensity to build is high. Among these three independent variables, it is very interesting to discover that Feng Shui is a determining factor in relation to the dependent variable of 'Housing Price.' Feng Shui may be controversial. Its theories are still contentious. However, Chinese culture plays a very important role in housing prices, and in the villages, it determines the values and beliefs that dictate expectations as well as responses to those prices.
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This survey indicated that economic and technological growth were prerequisites in China for the military and other power that made possible what might be called a sort of 'Social-Darwinian success' for these power-orientated ways of acting. Short-term rewards from the over-exploitation of resources tended to reduce any inclination to limit exploitation within sustainable limits at a given technological level. The development process further entailed a number of other changes that, overall, tended to weaken restraints on over-exploitation of the environment and impairment of the natural infrastructure underpinning human life. Urbanization and commercialization separated decision-makers from having to live with the direct environmental consequences of their behaviour. The economic growth process itself, especially the spread of markets and the possibility of safely depositing money at interest, altered what was semi-consciously perceived to be the appropriate discount rate applying to choices between present and future exploitation of resources, enhancing present values relative to future ones. In Social-Darwinian terms the Chinese techno-cultural style was highly successful for most of its imperial history, and its environment was - not accidentally - seriously degraded in many respects by the beginning of the modern era.