It's called feng shui – the words sound exotic, mysterious. But in truth, feng shui is simply the art of placement. Originating in China more than 3,000 years ago, it’s considered a way to bring harmony as well as organization into your environment – whether that’s a home or a vehicle.
The principles of feng shui suggest your environment reflects every aspect of your existence – from finances to relationships, to knowledge to career. There are many different ways to practice this ancient art and a wide variety of applications. However it’s practised, the basic aim is the same – to create calming, positive surroundings.
“Some people raise their eyebrows when they hear the word feng shui” says Dawn Simpson, a design consultant in Ottawa and owner of Simpson Design & Decor. “People think feng shui is a design gimmick, but in fact, designers use feng shui principles to design and arrange structural elements such as furniture, buildings and even cars.”
Consumers spend so much time on the road these days, staying relaxed can only be beneficial. And with a vehicle that offers as much interior feng shui, taking the next step toward peace and harmony just makes sense.
“During my studies at the Carleton School of Industrial Design 12 years ago, my classmates and I were asked to design what we envisioned the Ford Focus to look like in 2010. Although this was an industrial design project, we incorporated the same elements and principles of interior design: line, colour, shape, texture, form and value.”
Here are a few general feng shui design tips to incorporate into your vehicle just as you should in your home:
- The No. 1 enemy in feng shui is clutter – no matter where you are. The most dramatic thing you can do to shift and change the way ch’i behaves is to get rid of the clutter, whether it’s in your home, your car, your office or workspace. Over time, clutter creates pressure, depression or tension. “Keep your car clutter-free,” adds Dawn. “I organized my trunk just like my closet at home and I throw out garbage as soon as I can. Nothing’s worse than a bad smell or sticky, dirty seats to dampen your mood.
- Add some ch’i enhancers to the interior of your vehicle. A ch’i enhancer is something that promotes well-being through the senses. Of course you don't want anything that distracts your vision while you're driving, but instead use your other senses. Maybe you hang small chimes in your vehicle. Pick a calming essential oil if you're stressed, an enlivening one for a quick pick-me-up, or an antibacterial one for a quick wipe down. “I'm sensitive to perfume and sprays, but I love it when my car smells fresh and new” said Dawn. “I use a laundry scented spray or Febreeze. Because I'm sensitive, I spray it quickly around the car then shut the door to allow the scent to settle.”
- “In feng shui design, color is very important,” says Dawn. Ford’s Technical Leaders of Design discovered there are shades of yellow that stimulate parts of the brain, bringing clear-headed, decisive action, while green, on the other hand, affects the nervous system, causing us to breathe slowly and deeply, helping the heart to relax by slowing the production of stress hormones. Red will likely evoke the strongest emotions, be that passion or anger. Dawn recommends choosing a car color that balances your personality. “My car colour is a bright blue called Dyno Blue Pearl. In Ford’s news release called “What your car colour says about you” blue means I'm calm and composed, while being conservative yet loyal, but have a mind of my own. I think that fits me to at ‘T’.” Ford vehicles also offer a palette of ambient or detail lighting that allows drivers to customize the interior of their vehicle based on their mood.
- Symbols are also important in feng shui. It doesn't even have to be something visual – just something the driver knows is there. It can even be something tucked in the glove box. For example, flowers symbolize energy, beauty and grace. The traditional mystic knot is one of the most often used symbols in feng shui. Being a combination of six times the infinity symbol, this feng shui knot symbolizes a long and happy life full of good fortune. Then there’s the Buddha. When you have a busy, hectic lifestyle – which is the expression of active/yang feng shui energy – it is very important to focus on creating a peaceful/yin quality of energy in your space.