The Growth of Feng-Shui

Birmingham Skyline PaintingI’ve lived in three cities and they have all been far richer, more wild, more wacky, and more challenging than any that I, or other designer could single-handedly design. They are however, what we are, built up in fragments by individual thought and action – just like the HoBB.

I illustrate one city (above) that has followed very concrete proposals in its past, both politically and economically. The reason it continues to grow and modify itself, is because of its spirit. You can feel the spirit of a city which can be likened to the spirit of a person – brimming with vitality and eager to forge a place in the World.

Cities can grow beyond imagination, especially with unchecked population growth, and as they expand so does the repetitive urban sprawl. It is this extended layering that I find very spiritless as each city merges with its neighbour turning villages into districts.

I have also lived in three country locations enriched by nature and managed by care takers. All three, being clear of industrial farming, grew organically around rural farming communities.

Planning policies, better communications and road improvements all go to support the evolution of villages into towns, but with all the efforts put into design and planning we still get places that all look very similar. The people I meet however, love places to be very different and individual so are planners and designers listening? In my book, the role of designers and planners is to listen, work towards the needs of the present day but with a practical eye on the best future.

The best future is a balanced future and we must stop western thinking from losing the plot. Here in the west we usually treat nature as a ‘raw material’ and refer to it as such in our writings. We must however heed the main point to the ancient wisdom of Feng-Shui (wind and water), and this does not mean that I am suggesting you rush out to buy a coloured object to put in a particular room corner to enhance your love life!

If you look behind the ritual of Feng Shui you find an understanding that must be applied. We are part of nature so we cannot disrupt the ecological balance of nature without it back firing in our face. The ‘balance of nature’ needs to be maintained as much by us as by earthworms. Our humans workings can continue to live on, only if we restore, preserve and maintain balance.

This ‘balance’ is not a static balance. As we design and plan more habitats with ever new technologies at our disposal, the challenge is to find new balance points. The shame of tomorrow would be to neglect it and deprive its citizens of their future through our greed for our present.

At the HoBB we keep exploring the best ways to enjoy building today for tomorrow.

Forward ~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant

Four small feature re-cycled glass panes wanted

IMAGENAMEHEREI am looking around for someone interested in making four glass panes from re-cycled bottle glass.

I have designed a fun feature for the HoBB entrance and have finished the stonework and oak window frame ready. Each of the four panes have air bubbles trapped in them, are clear to frosted to bottle green but of different design.

As the lower panes are being melted together from parts of carefully prepared green wine bottles the ‘melt’ needs to stop just before the thick circular bottle bottoms become indistinct and fuse with the main clearer sheet glass. The whole ‘look’ should be that of ‘recycled’ glass so the origin is not lost.

This project would suit a student with access to kiln, keen to work with an interior designer. If you have any wickedly wonderful thoughts on how to get this kind of feel into a feature, contact me please.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant