(Feng Shui is another of my delightful interests in life. Tho I had heard of feng shui, I never knew anything of it or had the desire to until about 15 years ago when a neighbor friend began influencing me. Everything about her surroundings was serene and contemplative. The sounds and sights caught my attention. Comment to follow.)
Feng shui guides design of offices
By Steve Wartenberg THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
There seems to be a familiar pattern in the evolution of Diana Garber’s feng-shui business, which focuses on commercial construction and renovation projects.
It starts with an initial dose of skepticism from clients, followed by a growing interest and, eventually, an acceptance of this ancient Chinese method of maximizing positive energy flow.
“I wasn’t a real big fan at first, to be honest,” said Steve Casciani, CEO of Border Energy.
His company recently moved into a new, 10,000-square-foot office in Powell that incorporated several feng-shui design elements, including the shape of the building and the location of the entrance.
“Now, everyone who walks into the building has the same impression, that the energy just pops out when they come in,” Casciani said, adding that this seems appropriate for an energy company. “Our employees are ecstatic to be in a building that was well thought out and created for their needs.”
In addition to Border Energy’s new headquarters, Garber also was hired to apply feng-shui design elements to the expansion of the Tansky Sawmill Toyota dealership, scheduled to be completed in the spring. She also is working on a volunteer basis to help renovate the Breathing Association’s office space on Old Henderson Road to add positive energy.
“There are pockets of people who aren’t on board with feng shui,” said Garber, who runs Intuitive Concepts in Sunbury. “I think that’s based on their misinformation, and when they see how it works, and that it’s based on quantum physics and mathematical formulas, they say, ‘This isn’t what I thought it was.’”
- Experts such as Garber use compasses, diagrams, mathematical formulas and an understanding of five elements — water, fire, earth, wood and metal — to achieve harmony and positive energy flow in buildings.
It is not, Garber said, rearranging the furniture in a room.
Using feng shui is the norm for residential and commercial construction projects in Asian countries.
In the United States, it is more common in homes and is slowly spreading to commercial projects. In Los Angeles, the $65 million Burton Way tower complex will incorporate feng-shui designs, as will a new, 213-unit apartment building in Minneapolis.
Garber initially did work on the home of Maria Collart, CEO of the Breathing Association.
“Like our bodies, buildings age and need certain things, in terms of positive energy,” Collart said.
What the Breathing Association’s office needs most is a paint job.
“It hasn’t been painted in 22 years,” Collart said, adding that she’s looking for donors to help with the $3,000 cost of paint.
Garber’s calculations have determined that a gray color palette will work best and create better energy throughout the two-story building, where clients come for a variety of lung and breathing-related medical issues.
Garber also recommended that Collart install a large clock above the elevator. “It changes the energy of the entrance, so people feel better,” Garber said. “A clock is moving metal, and since it is always moving, it is working 24 hours a day, turning negative energy into positive energy.”
Garber initially met Casciani when his wife, Lisa, hired her to do a feng-shui makeover of their home. She then made some changes to his previous office space.
Her ideas for Border Energy’s new headquarters began with its shape, which was originally going to be V-shaped. This, she said, isn’t conducive to energy flow, and Garber suggested a rectangular shape — and Casciani agreed.
“The energy is more stable and can settle more in the wide rectangle,” Garber said. “If the building was too narrow, the energy goes through it too quickly and affects business.”
The front entrance was put on the west side of the building. Putting it here, Garber said, created water energy. “Water means flow, the flow of money; and, for a business, this is important,” Garber said. “As each person enters the building from the west, they bring in the good energy with them.”
There are 20 employees in the building, and it is large enough to accommodate 50 as Border Energy grows.
Casciani’s skepticism has turned into acceptance. “I believe there is most definitely a spot in my life for this,” he said of feng shui. “It’s not something I live my life by, but if you learn about it and see the results, why not do it? “I see this as an investment that yields returns.”
Garber spent three days compiling her calculations at the Breathing Association, and used them to come up with her suggestions.
“What she does is not cookie cutter; it’s based on mathematical formulas and calculations and compass points,” Collart said.
And, feng shui is something that should be felt and sensed rather than seen.
“Feng shui isn’t something obvious. You shouldn’t walk into a building and say, ‘You’ve done feng shui,’” Garber said. “You shouldn’t notice it, and you should feel safe and secure and supported.” swartenberg@ dispatch.com
(So, going back 15 years (+ or -), I was generally pretty busy taken up as I was with my grand-daughters around the clock – - much to do. Have always loved learning new things and find it exciting and fun. Never became really efficient doing it, but sure had fun with it and enjoyed the changes I made.
Bought a few books. The one my friend suggested as the best around is “The Western Guide to Feng Shui” by Terah Kathryn Collins. Its excellent, helpful and I love it. Also found another one I equally love (on my own). Its called “Feng Shui: Harmony by Design” by Nancy SantoPietro. She was one of very few women to have studied under the tutelage of Professor Lin Yun, Grand Master and Spiritual leader of the Tantric Buddist Black Hat Sect School of Feng Shui who had been trained and authorized to practice transcendental cures and blessing ceremonies. She has much to bring to her clientele as well as the ten years prior experience as a psychotherapist. I enjoyed her book so much because of the extra pleasure received as she describes her clients “needs and desires” with regard to the work she performs for them.
Among other things, I had bought some lovely crystals to hang here and there, some little water fountains and a little sound machine to bring in an assortment of lovely nature sounds such as the ocean waves washing up on shore, forest sounds and so on. It was fun. Most of that stuff is in the basement now. If I didn’t have so much going on, I swear, I’d jump back into feng shui again – - it is such fun and so absorbing. No matter that Ms. Garber’s thrust is to the commercial and industrial areas of our community, she also did use it to redo the man’s office and had already done their home. So it does indeed have to do with design, colors, as well as furniture placement and of course – - so much more. Feng shui is a very broad field incorporating ALL the elements of life. One can deliberately strive to enrich “any part” of one’s life.
If one is conducting business from home – - it would be smart to head down to the library and pick up one of these books and see what you think. If you are crammed in a corner with a cluttered mess all around you, you could use a little help. Desk placement within the room, in the propitious corner of the room with a little help from feng shui can liven up that business direction, bring in business and increase money flow..
A lonely person who might want a companion and/or a happier romantic part of life should perhaps take a good look at the bedroom. Bed placement; mirror placement, clutter, boxes and/or garbage, exercise equipment stored there, pictures of ancestors hanging on the wall glaring down at you – not necessarily a good influence – - none of it. You get the picture without even reading the books. Stuff can be done with any or all of life by means of feng shui. So yeah, I cotton to it, and maybe one day, you might want to give it a try. Just sayin’. . . . . Jan)