Feng Shui with Dr. Anna Markovic Plestovic


Spatial and Feng Shui analysis: case of Subotica city


Since the research has not started from theoretical questions, but from practical experience, its aim is not to compare theories and methodologies adherent to them, but to contest the compliance of results, the verification of the hypothesis formulated according to the practical observations of one science by the tools of other science. Accordingly, the hypotesis of relevant organizational patterns was derived from the shape, position and internal structure of the City Hall of Szabadka, using the methods of Feng Shui. Thus, outlined patterns were then contested to the formative processes of the city and the recurring social manifestations.   

The research was primarily concerned with the literature related to Szabadka, comparing and unifying the data found in that literature. During the research, the studies of Szabadka generated in the past 120 years, approaching the city and its development from different angles and different time horizons were analyzed. The first relevant work on the subject was Iványi`s history of the settlement that describes the emergence and the development of the city from legal, economic, architectural angle and describes the movements and the composition of the population from the beginnings to 1880. The latter studies written from aspects of economic geography, settlement geography and urbanism, were used to check and prove the validity of the patterns recovered from Iványi`s work. The patterns were sought out in sectorial-territorial analyses of different times too.

The first group of data taken into consideration was the data attainable by analysis and comparations of the development plans and strategies conceived in different times, regarding the recurrence of states, goals, solutions and patterns. Another important group of the data was deduced and interpreted from the statistical data available in statistical yearbooks and different publications published by local self-government. Within this group of data some, like the population numbers were interpreted through the temporal changes that took place, while the data for which the temporal comparison within the place seemed unreasonable or impossible, the interpretation was carried out on a short timescale in relation to another place comparable to Szabadka, in order to thus outline the local differentia specifica.

The third group of analyzed data was deduced from analysis of the maps of the city originating from different times, and the comparison of the changes detectable on these maps to the patterns contained in the hypothesis. The maps were digitalized from the maps published in the processed publications, the maps issued by the local self-government and the use of basic layer of GIS, and processed with Adobe Photoshop CS2 and CorelDraw14.

The data was evaluated through the dynamics- and information quality-differentiating set of symbols of Feng Shui. The steps of differentiation applied were: the Yin-Yang proportions of polarities expressing the dynamics-statics ratio of phenomena; the Wuxing (“five elements”) that expresses the intrinsic information quality of phenomena related to the cycle of transformations, and the Ba Gua (eight angles) projecting the dynamic proportions and the transformational phases to the eight directions and thus connecting and relating abstract and concrete, conceptual and material contents of place.


The basic aim of this work was to try demonstrate that the structure and system of values of a society that exists in a place (consciousness) is influenced by the properties of the physical environment (being), and on the other hand, that the society that is therefore locus-specific, tends to influence the environment in accordance with the inherent patterns of environment, and re-create those patterns in the built environment. Thus, the society through the alteration of the natural environment expresses its own organizational patterns (shaped by the natural environment) and creates the restraints of development on both the level of ideas and matter. Since the public buildings are the material expressions of communities existing on the level of ideas (city, country, nation...), in them the peculiarities of related history, culture, set of value, social organization, in other words the locus-specific spatial-social differences (relational assets?) are taking material forms. The spatial and structural relations of these symbolic buildings therefore are describing and re-creating the characteristic organizational patterns of the space in a lower dimension.


Furthermore, this work is trying to present a holistic point of view, that could possibly contribute to the simplification of the scientific research in social planning allowing the reduction of the quantities of analytical observation needed, analyzing the phenomena through a highly-sophisticated system of symbols, in which system all things, whether tangible or intangible, can be interrelated and evaluated.



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