Monday, July 11, 2011

“A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet…”

Presentation words are definitely “customized” to address an individual Client’s needs, at the completion of a design concept…In a recent project, “rhythm and continuity” were vocalized to “hone in” on the sense of place that responded to the introduction of like elements and reinforcement of existing materials/colors; however, Feng Shui was never mentioned by the Owner in conversation, thus, I “ignored” addressing this age-old design philosophy – or did I?
The existing courtyard - north, is to the right

Yin and yang are used constantly by designers – specifically, the combination of disparate elements to find balance…in this photo, note the location of “black”/”white” design icons and the play of shadow/light which will prevail (as shadows “balance” the sun’s rays).  Right down to the “dry pebble creek” imagery (using light/dark rock) reminiscent to the tai chi.  By the way, this was not meant to be a literal icon.  Thus, from the eight phases of universal energy, materials themselves evoke the imagery of fire (red), earth (rock), lake (pool), heaven (open courtyard), water (spa spillway), mountain (spa/pool elevation difference & “jutting” icons)…thunder and wind are more intangible but “opportunities” are provided.  The flow of “chi” centers on the pool enabling the energy to “circulate,” thus, tai chi “is” the pool…both literally/spatially and philosophically/energetically…To further facilitate the flow, the north end was “opened” and “limited” encumbrances relocated.  To allow the flow to “meander,” “circulate,” and not “dissipate” too quickly, permeable areas are created, so chi can cycle – so without presenting these ideas of trying to explain some of the Feng Shui philosophy, the Owner was provided a universal design, addressing specific project requirements, while addressing an ancient design philosophy.  Universally, the design accomplishes many things...”rhythm and continuity,” in addition to:  scent (from climbing rose) and movement (wind through the grasses), earth (granite) and fire (red costus); all set to provide a dynamic and enjoyable space, no matter how you choose to present it.
proposed design - so now, how do you vocalize this?

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