By now, many of us have heard some of feng shui's principles: no sharp edges in the bedroom; clutter is bad energy; don't build a home at the end of a dead-end road. Donald Trump, the United Nations and Virgin Airlines have all put the ancient Chinese philosophy to use. But feng shui might soon get competition from a practice that predates it, but has received scant attention until now: the ancient Indian art of Vedic architecture. (Angkor Vat in Cambodia is one example of Vedic beauty.) While feng shui tends to focus on decoration and placement of objects, Vedic focuses on the orientation of a building (entrances should face east or north), its proportions and measurements. The idea is that if you build it... success will come. "People may laugh, but there is a predictable, mathematical way to make that happen through architecture," says Vedic specialist Jonathan Lipman. He says President George W. Bush should start using the north entrance to the White House if he knows what's best for himself and the nation.
There has been $500 million in new Vedic construction over the past 10 years, and one of America's top "green" developers, the Tower Cos., is designing the world's first Vedic office building in Rockville, Md. The 200,000-square-foot, $72 million project "is designed to influence the success and productivity" of its future workers, says partner Jeffrey S. Abramson.