There are no straight lines or right angles in nature, mother nature tends to soften and round out rough edges with wind and water.
The words feng shui literally translate as wind and water; a visceral way to describe energy and how it moves in the natural world. This is one reason why we tend to enjoy curves or rounded shapes as opposed to angularity in the design of spaces in which we want to relax and unwind, they feel gentler and more familiar.
Diagonal lines imply action, movement and dynamism.
Sharp points can feel harsh, agitating, even aggressive, like the point of an arrow, they can set up an energy of tension. We talk about “making your point” as a way of making a firm statement, taking a stance.
In feng shui triangles imply fire energy; the energy of outward motion, activity, passion, expression. Because of this triangles in design and architecture hold that same energy of propulsion and outward motion, which by definition is not welcoming us in. Fire energy is useful when we wish to introduce a sense of movement, dynamism and expansive energy.
Straight lines Vs Curves
Straight lines invite fast paced movement, there is a tension between their starting and ending points, which propels or hurries us along their axis.
Where we have long straight corridors or long narrow rooms, this creates a sense of movement within the space which can make it difficult for our energy to settle.
Undulating lines invite a slower more meandering pace, gently enfolding the landscape, they offer us time to enjoy the view.
Sitting in a space which feels encircled allows us to focus our energy inward, quietening and supporting us.
Rounded edges suggest a more gentle, pliable energy. gathering or holding in energy. We talk about “gathering round” when we come together in a group.
In feng shui round shapes imply metal energy which is contracting, enfolding and gathering in nature. For that reason curves imply an invitation to be enfolded and supported. Metal energy is useful when we wish to introduce gathering and supportive energy.
In a recent research study of angularity by Bar and Neta (2006, 2007). They suggested that people prefer curved objects because angularity conveys a sense of threat. Angles metaphorically express threat, they propose, because sharp and jagged objects are often dangerous.
If we think about it this is quite primal, a knife is obviously more threatening than a spoon, one can harm us the other might offer sustenance. In both cases we will have a learned response to each.
Whether we acknowledge this on a conscious level or not, we have a physical and emotional response on a subconscious level where we encounter sharp corners and rounded edges in our built environment.
Feng shui allows us to view our homes through this energetic prism, noticing what sustains or nourishes and supports us and what may be diminishing or unsupportive in our environment. Once we are aware of this information we can take action accordingly encouraging a more balanced and supportive atmosphere.