Form School Feng Shui
The oldest method is Form School Feng Shui. Originally Feng Shui was used for the placement of burial graves and then progressed onto building location for the living. The ancient principles of Form School focus on finding the best position within a landscape. In those days, as with today, the best position means the safest and most secure location.
So what makes a safe and secure location?
Think primitively is the simple answer. Times when men were hunter gathers and women looked after the home, children and food. Stereotypical maybe…. but at the root of our ancestry. Historically ancestors like Neanderthals positioned their dwellings (whether camp or cave) with basic Form School Feng Shui principles to ensure survival.
The three survival factors; protection, resources & climate
The location was not in a dip in the land, preferably on higher ground with the hillside at the back of the home. The rear was protected by hillsides, mountains, caves, forests, natural features and so on. The front opened out so that all of the surrounding area could be seen. The same logic for building castles on the top of hills; nothing to attack you from behind and an open view of what is coming towards you.
Whether fire wood, food or water – dwellings were positioned in a spot that had these resource in an accessible range. Near to the front would be a water source like a river or lake. The hillside location would encourage natural drainage and be near to ground where natural vegetation would grow. This meant the dwelling and resources would not suffer during flooding, storms and high winds.
Now take into account directions, the front would be facing south to make the most of the sun all year round. The rear would be ideally protected or sheltered by features in the landscape to avoid the harsh Northerly winds in the wintertime.
Form School Feng Shui
Over time the Taoists refined these principles to be applied to their living environment, just as we have refined them in the modern world for the built environment. Eco architects design buildings for optimum solar gain with larger windows at the front (Southerly direction) and smaller windows at the back (Northerly direction). Basic, instinctive and logical principles.
Form School uses observation and analysis to understand the surrounding environment, built and natural. The size, shape and positions of form that is around us will have an effect on the people living in these areas. Form School looks at both the outside and the inside. It is also important to note that Form is around 60% of all of the Feng Shui methods used.
This article gives a very simplistic look at how the way our ancestors lived relates to modern day life. I am by no means a scholar on this historical subject, however practical, logical and functional building design can be achieved using Feng Shui principles in the modern world. Living in harmony on the land is more about how we naturally and ecologically use the land for our own means, than how to best make use of the land to fit human evolution and technology.
Types of Form School
Feng Shui Trigrams
Meaning of the Trigrams
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Who does the building shape support?
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Find out how to analysis the shape of your property.