A foundational suggestion in Feng Shui is to select furniture that has rounded designs or soft edges. Why is that? In the terms of Feng Shu, rounded designs and soft edges help to generate "Sheng Chi." This type of ch'i mimics the natural designs of nature and offers a stronger opportunity for life force energy to flow throughout your home with ease.
For the more analytical minds we now have scientific proof that supports the importance of this tangible Feng Shui suggestion.
Experiments conducted in 2010 and 2013 by neuroscientists from the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, the University of Toronto at Scarborough and a study published in the National Academy of Sciences have all concluded the same results with quantifiable data.
What shapes are most pleasing and what exactly is happening in our brains when we look at them?
“We wanted to be rigorous about it, quantitative, that is, try to really understand what kind of information neurons are encoding and…why some things would seem more pleasing or preferable to human observers than other things. I have found it to be almost universally true in data and also in audiences that the vast majority have a specific set of preferences,” says Charles E. Connor, director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute.
The studies concluded participants viewing organic forms (like artwork from Jean Arp), architecture and interior decor with rounded shapes demonstrated increased brain activity. Verbally, participants used words like "beautiful" and "pleasing" to describe what they saw.
So why do humans prefer rounded shapes vs sharp and jagged edges?
Scientist share their thoughts:
“Shallow convex surface curvature is characteristic of living organisms, because it is naturally produced by the fluid pressure of healthy tissue (e.g. muscle) against outer membranes (e.g. skin). The brain may have evolved to process information about such smoothly rounded shapes in order to guide survival behaviors like eating, mating and predator evasion. In contrast, the brain may devote less processing to high curvature, jagged forms, which tend to be inorganic (e.g. rocks) and thus less important.”
Does this mean your entire home needs to be full of rounded things? No. Yet it does mean, it's strongly suggested to have a balance of rounded designed items and furniture to generate a more positive feeling and brain stimulation.