When you're cruising across the galaxy at faster-than-light speeds and battling super-intelligent crystaline beings, the slightest mistake can spell disaster. So it's vital to have good feng shui on your starship's bridge. Just look at this flight deck from the movie Red Planet: cramped, ugly and angular, with no way for energy to "flow" around the space. We asked experts how to improve your starship's feng shui. Click through for tips, plus a gallery of command centers with good and bad feng shui.
The biggest challenge in creating good starship feng shui is the fact that starships move around all the time. So you can't necessarily know which part of the ship will be facing "north." Traditional Earth-bound feng shui uses a special compass to locate the "ba gua" in a space, so you'll know where to position major features. But with a starship, those points of reference may not have any meaning, notes Janice Sugita, author of The Feng Shui Equation:
Since it is a moving object, the normal use of a compass for orientation of the qi does not apply in a "spaceship". Placement of the interior walls, doors and architectural features can alter the flow of qi that may be beneficial or not to the occupant. An example: if you place a desk or computer in the path of a sharp corner from a wall or column the occupant may feel unconfortable and not sit for long periods of time. It is the broken or disturbed natural flow of qi in the space that is directed to the occupant.
One way to keep your intrepid crew happy is to borrow a leaf (so to speak) from the movie Sunshine and keep some images of nature, if not actual plants, on board your ship, says Cathleen McCandless with San Diego Feng Shui:
Human beings lived in nature far longer than they have lived in artificial, man-made environments, therefore it will be very important that space ships incorporate images from nature into the interior design of the craft. People are soothed by images of nature, so plants, images of nature, water features, and materials made from natural substances like wood need to be integrated into the design so that space travel becomes less stressful. It will be essential that human beings keep their connection to nature to balance all the cold, industrial feelings of machinery.
Perhaps plasma screens with nature scenes could be viewed throughout the space ship. Sounds of birds, streams, and ocean waves could be heard in the background, and perhaps a domed structure with a forest environment like the ship in Silent Running could be added so passengers would have the experience of a walk in a garden while on those long flights between planets. Anything to lower stress levels resulting from long periods of time out of a natural environment would assist the space travelers in finding rest and relaxation while on their galactic travels.
So there you have it. Turns out the holodeck is essential equipment after all! By coincidence, McCandless is now appearing in the TV show Feng Shui Living, produced by someone who worked on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for years.