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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Feng shui makes us more aware of our surroundings, says designer Thierry Chow

The Hong Kong-based designer on how feng shui can be used to bring a sense of normalcy in these perilous times, her own journey starting out, and what she thinks entails good feng shui practices

Written by Prerna Mittra | New Delhi | October 20, 2020 5:30:13 pm
feng shui, what is feng shui, what is feng shui designing, feng shui designer Thierry Chow, Thierry Chow interview, indian express newsHong Kong-based designer Thierry Chow has been incorporating the principles of feng shui into her practice. (Source: PR handout)

What image does your mind conjure up when you read the words ‘feng shui’ and ‘designing’? Individually, these words mean totally different things, but when put together, they open up an uncharted avenue.

For a long time now, Hong Kong-based designer Thierry Chow has been incorporating the principles of feng shui into her practice. Hailed as a ‘feng shui designer’, she has been bringing in the principles of ‘wind and water’ into her work. Her website ‘Thierry Go Lucky’ mentions that for Chow, feng shui is “mindful awareness of our immediate space, and choosing to raise it to a higher vibration in a conscious, creative manner”.  

An important aspect of design and architecture in parts of Asia, feng shui is little understood by many people around the world. Amid the pandemic, Chow — who has been apprenticing under her father Chow Hon Ming, one of Hong Kong’s most respected Feng Shui masters — aims to debunk some myths, while focusing on the promotion of wellness in clothing and interior decoration, thereby bringing happiness and good fortune.

In an email interaction with, the designer talked about how feng shui can be used to bring a sense of normalcy in these perilous times, her own journey starting out, and what she thinks entails good feng shui practices, among other things.


Feng shui and designing — how did you marry the two?

I grew up in it, as my father is a feng shui master. But I had always been creative, so as a child — and all through my life up until university — I studied art and design mainly. I went to Canada when I was 10 and when I returned to Hong Kong at age 23, I was hit by uncertainties.

There was an unhappy stage wherein I had to reflect on my life quite a bit, and something inside of me sparked; I told myself I had to learn feng shui from my dad, and that was the turning point. I had made it my mission to combine both design and feng shui since then.

How would you explain the concept of feng shui to the uninitiated?

Feng shui is a philosophy that expresses the concept of yin and yang, balance, and the importance of nature and environment. It is essentially a way for us to be more aware of our surroundings, and to understand the effects it has on us mentally and physically.

How big of a role does feng shui play in interior designing, and why is it important?

It plays a vital role; it is important because feng shui can bring more meaning, balance and harmony into a space. It helps to raise our awareness on how colours, positioning, texture, and everything in a space can affect us and our well-being.

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What is its significance when it comes to clothing?

Feng shui talks about five elements and about balance. And a good way to do so is through the way we dress. Knowing which colour brings balance in your life, and how you feel about it, is important in assisting you to become the best version of yourself.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, what role do you think feng shui plays in bringing a sense of normalcy?

During the pandemic, everyone’s going through changes and struggles. We are all needed to stay indoors, and it may affect our balance. Feng shui can help one to be more alert of their surroundings while they are at home. It can bring focus back on loving oneself — it really is a way to love yourself more.

What is the first thing a person must do to incorporate feng shui in their house?

First thing you need to do is invite all the five elements in. Having a bit of each in your space can really help bring life energy, and create a good anchor of energy for your place. Bring in wood (plants, wooden furniture), metal (copper, gold decor), water (a water feature, fish tanks), fire (lamp, warm lighting), and earth (crystals, marble).

How can they bring in feng shui in their clothing?

A good way is to look at the five aforementioned elements. We can play around with colours and patterns — wood, meaning green, stripes, leaves, trees, etc; metal meaning silver, gold, copper, circles, polka dots; fire can have shaded of red, purple, pink, orange, triangles; water, meaning blue, black, waves, ocean, etc; and for earth, brown, yellow, grey, square, etc.

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Here’s what you can wear more by looking at your birth month:

Spring — February, March and April — wear more water, earth elements

Summer — May, June and July — wear more metal, water elements

Autumn — August, September and October — wear more fire elements

Winter — November, December and January — more wood, fire elements

In your career, how many times did you have to bust myths around feng shui, and what were they?

It’s an ongoing project. I think it is more about the communication, and how we explain feng shui to people. It is mostly misunderstanding, or is something that needs to be more educational. For instance, there are some things which are considered to bring ‘bad luck’, like using the number ‘4’, because it sounds like ‘death’ in Chinese. Or that cactuses are bad luck and draw gossip. All these are things that aren’t necessarily false, so explaining them is very important.

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When it comes to the interior design of a house, what comprises ‘good feng shui’?

For good feng shui:

* One must have well-balanced lighting (warm, not-too bright not-too dark)

* Soothing colours must be used — light warm yellow, egg white, light blue (in comparison with an overuse of extreme colours such as bright red, pitch black, too much white, etc.)

* There should be good flow to the space/layout — positioning of the furniture is important.

* Good use of positive symbols, like round soothing patterns instead of abrasive pointy shapes.

* Good exterior environment — house not directly facing a highway, a hospital, a bridge, but instead facing a park and nice scenery.

Any designer that you personally look up to, both in terms of sustainability and creativity?

I admire my designer friends the most, they are people that I work with all the time and it’s nice to be able to understand design more through their professionalism — JJ Acuna/Bespoke Studio, Nelson Chow, NC Design & Architecture.

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