Monday, March 24, 2003

Feng Shui and Frank Lloyd Wright, Hemicycle Designs

Feng Shui and Frank Lloyd Wright, Hemicycle Designs
[人因工程 ]

Feng Shui and Frank Lloyd Wright, Hemicycle Designs

According to Cate Bramble...

Consider the hemicycle designs that Wright innovated. A hemicycle is not inherently good Feng Shui. Can anyone imagine a follower of the Black Sect Buddhist Church or Pyramid School trying to place their cookie-cutter baguas over a hemicycle? Sure, traditional Feng Shui practitioners have been educated on strategies for dealing with these designs, but hemicycles don't exactly lend themselves to those uniquely American "McBagua" schools. I would suggest that many people who think Frank Lloyd Wright was some kind of Feng Shui savant have seen the Guggenheim or a picture of Fallingwater, but generally don't look much further.

Editor's Comments:

This is strawman rhetoric at its amateurish worst. The authoress first makes exaggerated claims about Wright and Feng Shui that no one would ever believe, then mocks them as exaggerated claims no one would ever believe. I'm not even going to bother with her grammatical errors. No one is claiming that Frank Lloyd Wright was "some kind of Feng Shui savant" -- merely that Wright had a close affinity with the Daoist philosophy that informs Feng Shui. One: Wright was spiritually attuned to Feng Shui even though he did not formally practice Feng Shui. Two: Traditional Chinese architectural forms and details show up in Wright's work repeatedly. Wright's "Prairie Houses" in particular, reveal an unmistakable family resemblance to traditional Chinese buildings. Re: Wright's "hemicycles." The authoress merely displays her ignorance. She assumes traditional Feng Shui rules out the possibility of circular building plans. But that was never the case. True, most Chinese buildings consciously designed to comply with Feng Shui happen to be orthogonal, rectilinear. But this was never a hard and fast rule. See Illustration: Traditional Hakka Minority Circular Dwellings in Fujian. Let me be perfectly clear. No one is saying Wright copied Hakka dwellings when he designed his "solar hemicycle" designs, merely that Feng Shui has never precluded circular buildings per se. The principles of Feng Shui, despite the claims of some practitioners, are contextual, not absolute. Feng Shui requires discrimation and judgment because Feng Shui is an art, not a science. Who exactly has trouble reconciling herself to the fact that "cookie cutter" application of Feng Shui principles won't fly? Nobody except Bramble.

-- Bevin Chu

Explanation: Feng Shui and Frank Lloyd Wright, Hemicycle Designs
Illustration(s): Frank Lloyd Wright's Jacobs House II, Traditional Hakka Minority Circular Dwellings in Fujian
Author: Jackie Craven
Publication Date: None
Original Language: English
Editor: Bevin Chu, Registered Architect

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