Sustainability 2.0

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Urban designers, architects and whole industries are talking about the importance of sustainability. Sustainability appears in any kind of context and looks like the buzzword of the green movement. It’s time for us to take a step backwards and have a look what sustainability is really all about.

Based on Wikipedia “ Sustainability, in ecology, describes as how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long – term maintenance of wellbeing, which has environmental, economic and social dimensions.”

Figure 1: Three Spheres in Sustainability

The three spheres of sustainability are showing us that the overlap of social, economic and environment create a framework of sustainability.

This composition is often used in regards to buildings, products and manufacture. The most important thing is unfortunately often disregarded: the human aspect and the influence of the environment.

Feng Shui is the science of looking into the relation of people and environment. The principle is based on the natural invisible life force energy (Chi) and has an impact on our physical environment, which is coordinated with time, space, direction and date of birth.

With the background as an architect and as Feng Shui consultant the idea of sustainability is an old hat.  Feng Shui is based on the Chinese theory of Ying and Yang and is looking for balance in any kind of connection in the universe. Sustainability represents the approach of finding the balance between the three spheres of Environment, Economy and Social.

As we can see the principles of Feng Shui and sustainability are very similar. Applying the framework of the modern sustainability on the principle of Feng Shui will present us the same three spheres. The only difference is that the spheres focus on the human aspect instead of products, industries or buildings.

Figure 2: Three Spheres of Feng Shui


The economy of a business is the essential lifeline. The correct environment for a business creates a foundation for economic growth, Risk prevention and Profit maximization. Efficiency can also be improved in choosing the right office setup.


People do business. This is not a new perception but Feng Shui can help improve

Collaboration in the office, Relationships between stakeholders, clients and colleagues

can be improved and create an atmosphere of success. The payout will be lower church of employees and loyal customer.


From an environmental perspective Feng Shui reduces the stress level and creates a healthier workplace. The right enhancement of the office will lead to higher motivation, improve creativity and change the mindset.

Having all this in mind, Feng Shui can be applied in any of the following stages of projects:

a)     Building your office base on Feng Shui principals from the start

b)    Space planning, select rooms that are beneficial to the key employees, meeting room, presentation room, lavatory and storage

c)     Selecting material, furniture, lighting, colour and art work

d)    Re-arranging a current design to bring productivity and harmony

Today workspaces deserve a more holistic approach and sustainability is not limited to objects. Keep this in mind for the next renovation or restructuring project and involve also the people aspect.

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