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Certified NYC Feng Shui Expert Laura Cerrano has over 20-years of on-site and remote Feng Shui & Design consulting. Consultations, seminars and classes provided in New York City and Los Angeles California, along with National and International locations.

Feng Shui Manhattan Blog

Certified Feng Shui Expert Laura Cerrano provides weekly Feng Shui Tips and insights, paired with the latest scientific studies, discussions about additional supportive healing modalities and healthier lifestyle choices for the body, mind and spirit.

Filtering by Tag: Architecture

Before There Was ​Biophilic Design, There Was Leonardo Da Vinci

Laura Cerrano

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So, who is Leonardo Da Vinci? He is probably one of the most influential people of all time, leaving his footprint during the High Renaissance era. His major accomplishments included advances within the fine arts, architecture, the engineering of flying machines, military equipment, science, anatomy, botany, geology, and physics, as to name a few categories. 

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For this particular article, let’s examine Leonardo’s inspiration behind the, “Ideal City.” Between 1484 and 1485, 50,000 people died in Milan of plague, killing off nearly a third of the city’s population. Due to this, Leonardo developed a keen interest in urban renewal and a desire to liberate people from the old fashioned, over-crowded medieval city where people were crammed together “like a herd of goats”. 

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Leonardo proposed new solutions for cities, based on the concepts of natural geometric design, cleanliness, convenience, and the circulation of air and exposure to natural sunlight. The concept of Leonardo’s “ideal city” was derived from the Florentine architect/engineer Antonio Filarete, but Leonardo’s vision was more radical.

His “ideal city” would have two levels. The top level was for foot traffic, designed with wider streets. He also proposed a paddlewheel system to maintain cleaner streets. The second level was for carts, animals, and underground waterways for commerce traffic and to help remove garbage from the city.

Leonardo also wanted to limit the height of buildings as to allow the air and sunshine to circulate more freely throughout the city streets. To help with this concept, he proposed arched doorways and walkway designs around the buildings.

Leonardo was not very concerned with integrating natural landscape into his urban renewal and that is where Biophilic Design complements his vision for the ‘ideal city.’

Biophilic Design provides a strong focus on integrating Natural Landscapes, Ecosystems, natural colors, and Images of Nature into exterior and interior designs schemes. The more you learn about Leonardo’s “ideal city” and Biophilic Design Principles, the more you’ll see how they parallel each other in fascinating ways.

Did Leonardo’s evolutionary ideas ever come to fruition? No.

Yet, today, they are with a modern twist.

Why Does the Octagon Shape Play Such an Important Role In Feng Shui? 

Laura Cerrano

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In regard to sacred geometry when viewing the octagon, there are two shapes coming together as one; which is the circle and square. The circle represents heaven and the square represents earth, thus unifying these two energies through an infinite connection. 


Octagon Shaped mirror

Octagon Shaped mirror

In BTB Feng Shui (Bon Buddhism), the octagon is seen as a symbol of protection to ward off negative spiritual activity. A common modern day BTB recommendation is to hang an octagon shaped mirror above the outside of a home’s front door that is directly across the street from a cemetery. The octagon is also seen as a vehicle for the advent of good health and good fortune.

Western Bagua Map

Western Bagua Map

Referring to the Western Bagua Map, you’ll see that too is in the shape of an octagon. Each life section ( 8 all together) on the map relates to a main category that supports you through life experiences for self development. 

  • Reputation
  • Partnership
  • Creativity/Children
  • Helpful People/Travel
  • Career
  • Wisdom 
  • Family/Health 
  • Wealth

The octagon is also highly regarded in architecture. Temples, churches, monuments, and even government buildings are known to include the octagon shape into their architectural design.

One World Trade Center Architectural Design 

One World Trade Center Architectural Design 

In fact, the reconstruction of One World Trade Center in New York City, used the octagon shape as the base structure for their architectural design. What's even more fascinating about this choice, the octagon is considered a symbol of rebirth. 

Feng Shui expert with 21+ years of experience. She provides bicoastal consultations and workshops for residential, real estate developments, Fortune 500 companies, and healing facilities. She is currently conducting research for her upcoming book that focuses on bridging the gap between the ancient wisdom of Feng Shui and modern day science to establish the practice of Feng Shui as a credible form of health care.