In feng shui theory, the triangular shape is related to the Fire element which represents expanding energy and dynamic motion. However, it also manifests chaos and conflict. Therefore, in feng shui design, the triangular space is to be avoided.

In a city when streets meet to form a triangular, it is often a trouble spot. Similarly, a building with a triangular floor plan is rarely functionally successful either. Inside the triangular prism, one will feel somewhat restless.

Triangulars and furniture

When arranging furniture, occasionally a designer will purposely place a sofa or desk at an angle in a corner creating a triangular shape. The logic behind this is to avoid a mundane and rigid setting hoping to generate a more dynamic or lively atmosphere. Actually, this “dynamic setting” is a reflection of chaotic energy.

That being said, triangular forms are advantageous in construction. The triangular form of a truss creates structural stability and strength.

Chaotic and disruptive energy

From Wu-Xing Theory point of view, a triangle is linked with Fire and is often associated with conflict, chaos and violence. In general, city blocks with triangular shapes are usually plagued with more conflict than others, because from an energy point of view, triangular structures manifest a more chaotic or disruptive kind of energy.

It also would be difficult to find a business that operates successfully, or people living happily and prosperously, in a building with a triangular footprint.

In general, triangular layouts do not provide cohesive energy. In this case, failure is not caused by people, products, or other business factors, but by the form itself.

A country with a triangular territory form is more likely to be associated with conflict and chaos.

When triangles are appropriate

Louvre. Photo: Pixabay

There are places where triangles are appropriate. In such cases, the triangle should point upward, as in roofs or pyramids.

Such triangular forms pertain to Fire and are linked with the upward movement of energy. One good example of using this triangular form is the pyramid entrance at the Louvre Museum in Paris, designed by I.M. Pei. Although he may not have been guided by Wu-Xing Theory, his design can be analyzed and understood through it.

In the museum complex, the entrance is in the form of a pyramid; its triangular form resonates with the Fire element. The main body is square. resonating with the Earth element.

According to Wu-Xing Theory, Fire nourishes Earth. the overall design brings the stimulus of Fire and the stability of Earth into a harmonious relationship. Furthermore, Fire is an element that radiates beyond itself, creating a more expansive impression, and a stronger presence. which is why the entrance is a great design success. However, this example does not necessarily work well in different settings.

Many places in the world have tried to imitate this design, but it does not work as well when the design elements are positioned in different relation to each other. As a result, the design is not in tune with Wu-Xing Theory and therefore is not harmonious.

In tune with Nature

Wholesome form manifests wholesome energy. The key to working on an energy level is the balanced interaction of Yin and Yang and the coordination of the Five Elements in Wu-Xing Theory. Design that works on the energy level is in tune with natural design principles.

* To know more about feng shui please read the e-book Feng Shui: Truths, Myths & Misconceptions written by Dr. Shan-Tung Hsu and Jenny Nakao Hones.

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