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Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Designers at play on Feng Shui day

No sharp edges: Design is the key to good Feng Shui
Business directors and home owners wanting to increase their profits or harmonise their environment should take action on Saturday - the International Feng Shui day.

The ancient Chinese philosophy, which translates as "the art of placement", is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, enough to be marked by its own day.

Homes are now being designed and redesigned according to Feng Shui principles and company directors are converting to the belief with the hope of increasing business.

It's not about getting a quick fix

Feng Shui consultant Kenny D'Cruz

One company that is putting Feng Shui ideas into practice is London jewellery firm International Bullion.

With an expanding business and increasingly cluttered office, the directors called in Feng Shui consultant Liza Evans.

Diagnosis

She had some pretty harsh things to say about the premises, which appear to be making his employees miserable and scaring off customers.

Even the plant was blamed for draining everyone's energy.
Millennium Dome
Bad Feng Shui: The Chinese symbol of death

Sales director Barry Dobson said the basic principles were quite logical.

"Things you wouldn't think about like not having sharp corners, other than they hurt if you run into them," he said.

"It's nice to listen to some of the reasons behind why you shouldn't sit with your back to the window and why you shouldn't have open shelves.''

The diagnosis was so severe the company decided to relocate and start again from scratch, using Feng Shui principles to enhance staff morale, but most of all keep the money coming in.

New look

Ms Evans said the new building was much more beneficial.

'Because it faces the south west, we're using skin tone colours on the walls, we're also using natural stone for the floor to energise in that direction," she said.

"The reception area will be much bigger and brighter to really welcome the 'chi' (positive energy) in and bring the business on.''

The Natural Health Connection in Harley Street in London has been fully Feng Shui-ed by Kenny D'Cruz, a Feng Shui consultant who favours a holistic approach, combining counselling and healing.

He has set up a money area by the sink - ensuring to keep the plug in to prevent energy draining away - wooden candle sticks to stimulate business going upwards and outwards to symbolise growth, topped off a mirror to double the luck.

The reception area has an empty crystal bowl, on a red cloth - red is an activating colour.

The bowl is empty to create a vacuum and pull in energy, and more to the point money.

Not easy money

Mr D'Cruz said it was easy to make a lot of money from Feng Shui if you had the right frame of mind and a long term plan for yourself.

"But if you just want a new relationship or a new car that's not the way we work," he said.

"It's not about getting a quick fix.''

As with most philosophies and fads there will be sceptics.

But Feng Shui practitioners will point to the Millennium Dome as ultimate proof of poor design equalling poor success.

The Greenwich attraction's failure is apparently down to bad Feng Shui as the tented dome shape resembles an upturned rice bowl and chop sticks - the Chinese symbol of death.

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