The Latvian feng shui group has a monthly discussion meeting that I join via Skype. This month, thank goodness, they have changed the meeting from the regular 1pm to 11am Latvian time. This makes it easier for me when connecting via Skype, as it is1:00 am in Seattle, which is still within my waking hours!
During our last meeting, one graduate mentioned a concern in a friend’s house. The staircase that connects the first floor to the second floor was made of glass. Friends that have gone upstairs once will not re-visit the house again. She wondered if by covering the stairs with carpet was sufficient to take care of the problem.
I have seen glass floors in some restaurants and hotels in both the East and West. But used in a staircase? That’s new to me. Some designers may find it sleek to use glass material for flooring. I often wonder what has run through the designer’s mind. Some say it is to allow for more light or have they just simply exhausted their imagination and creativity? To argue if it is good design or not, all we need to do is watch how people respond to it.
Last week I was in Suzhou, China doing feng shui consultations. One consultation was with a Furniture Mall called Xinyue. It is the store front for many brand name furniture manufacturers in China. The mall has four floors with good design. However, on the top floor, the center portion of the wide walk space, which was half of the total width, was made of glass. With curiosity, I stopped at a corner to watch the pedestrians. During the ten minutes or so period, I did not see a single visitor walk on the glass floor. Everyone avoided stepping on top of the glass and instead walked on the carpet covered sides.
Why do people avoid it? The obvious reason is that most people do not feel it is safe to walk on a glass surface because of how we interpret the qualities of glass. We understand that it is breakable, not particularly strong enough to walk on and for women wearing a skirt over a glass surface, this could be an issue! That is the natural psychological response. There are also those who understand that the designers and engineers must have thoroughly considered the safety issues already, and thus it should be safe. However, even they are still uncomfortable to walk on glass. So there must be an additional reason other than the psychological factor. What is the other reason? Remember, everything has two reasons, one yin and the other yang. I am going to hold back my answer to for a while and challenge our feng shui friends, students and readers to ponder this question.
By the way, the answer to the original question of our Latvian feng shui practitioner is, “yes, the easy way to take care of the glass step issue is to cover it with carpet.”