VMSD - July 2015 - (Page 68)
Interview by Steve
The architect-turned-feng shui-consultant helps clients choose
locations, remain creative and avoid disruptions.
So it's not about moving the chairs
around and bringing in plants?
It can be. Feng shui is the study of how
the energy of our environment affects us.
It uses design as one of its tools. But there
are other tools that are not design-related,
like rituals and energetic interventions.
Feng Shui at
What will your IRDC presentation
How to promote continuous creative effort
despite creative disruption.
A jarring and complete disruption from the
norm. A life-changer. Amazon is a creative
Not a good thing?
Too much creative disruption can undermine
the fundamentals of your business. If everybody is disrupting, you can't have organization. How do you create an environment that
fosters creativity, evolution and development
without undermining core systems?
Feng shui can help?
Feng shui is so old, it has seen these cycles
over and over again. Why not learn from
it? Why not create processes that allow us
to move more smoothly through necessary
What drew you to the study?
Actually, it's part of my multicultural
DNA. I was born in Peru to a Swiss father
and a Peruvian mother in a mining area
- 13,000 feet up in the Andes Mountains.
And I grew up in Lima, attending the
American School. My mother wanted us
to learn English.
A little of everything.
There were so many things going on in the
brain of a 15-year-old, from llamas in the
mountains of Peru to shaking the hand of
the prince in Lichtenstein Castle.
Is feng shui practiced in Peru?
There was everything in Peru. Though it's
a Catholic country, there are still shamanistic rituals in the mountains and jungles.
What were your pre-feng shui
I studied architecture and art history
at Yale, and I was creative director at PriMedia, when it published glossy consumer
magazines like New York and Seventeen.
How did feng shui become part of
Someone handed me a flier about a Peruvian shaman set to appear in New York.
He turned out to be an old schoolmate
of mine. He exposed me to a whole new
way of thinking about life, the spiritual
component of reality. Later, I apprenticed
in feng shui at the University of Reading
in the U.K., which ran one of the first feng
Have any retailers embraced feng
Many. For example, we consult Whole
Foods Market on store design and site
selection. Feng shui has the tools to look
at a particular site, analyze the lay of the
land, the water and vegetation, who lives
there, the history of the area, the traffic
patterns. In a particular site, the opportunity to succeed might be diminished
because the slope of the territory is going
the wrong way or because there's an electrical power station within 500 feet.
And if the site's not conducive?
We can introduce corrections, though, in
some cases, they need to forget the site and
start elsewhere. We've all seen this a lot.
Stores that don't work in particular locations, no matter who occupies them.
S co tt M cfar li n , c ulv e r c it y, c ali f.
How misunderstood is feng shui?
Many people think they're hiring a decorator. At first, everyone wanted the little
water fountain and the bamboo.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - July 2015
VMSD - July 2015
From the Editor
Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
Babes in Toyland
VMSD - July 2015