I worked as a forensic scientist at the Metropolitan Police Laboratory in London (Head office at New Scotland Yard) for twenty years.
It was my childhood ambition. Being brought up in Singapore, I had read books on Sherlock Holmes and other criminal investigations.
The laboratory had world-leading expertise, and credibility in criminal investigations and the criminal courts in London and the rest of the World.
How did they achieve this?
Forensic science is the application of scientific methods to assist in police investigations. Scientists appear in the courts of law as expert witnesses.
Proven scientific methods are used for their objective findings.
The scientists are encouraged to have a questioning and curious yet thorough attitude.
Dr Michael Oon
The training comes from experienced scientists recognised for their expertise and knowledge of historical information.
This expertise is vital in investigations as they are subject to court scrutiny. They know where to look, the quickest and fastest way to solve a problem and how to avoid unforeseen traps. This is the basis of excellent and thorough training.
This is achieved with constant practice in casework and close supervision. Scientists can take up to ten years to be considered experts in their specialism.
I enjoyed working as a forensic scientist and helping to solve many cases. I have testified in various courts, including the highest courts - the Old Bailey and similar courts in London and many other countries.
I started looking for a career change as the Metropolitan Police Laboratory had new management. The culture and standards changed. Expedience and cost were the priority.
I re-visited my interest in the subject of the environment affecting human life.
Of particular interest were the changes in the roads and buildings in Singapore soon after independence in 1965. It is said to be one of the pillars of the foundation of Singapore's prosperity.
I researched this topic and found two established methodologies where the environment can affect humans or living things like plants:
Terroir – It details the environmental factors that affect crop growth in the cultivation, particularly grape vines for the production of wine. It is documented by the AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). It is an established system, and the methods are replicated throughout the world. The numerous vineyards grown worldwide are based on this documentation.
Feng Shui – A Chinese practice that harmonises individuals with their surrounding environments. In the West, the focus is on the interior of a property. However, I wanted to study the whole environment - interiors as well as exteriors.
I investigated the training and practice of this subject in the UK. I found that the teachers or trainers were not practitioners. Therefore, they would not know or understand the practical application of the subject.
The teachings are carried out in the classroom or online. Feng Shui is a practical subject. How do you build up the knowledge of the practice in the classroom? You need practical experience.
Can you prepare for your driving test by being taught in a classroom? Similarly, a bricklayer, a pastry chef or a medical practitioner?
The teaching material involved formulas which are based on ancient Chinese texts. Scholars wrote these texts, but the ancient feng shui practitioners could not write and were very protective of their craft. The ancient feng shui practitioners were trained within a lineage and with verbal tutelage.
I had my doubts about the current scene and persisted with my search.
After more than two years of searching, I had a tip-off. An established practitioner was looking for students to be trained in her field of expertise – KanYu – the management of the environment. Students were selected for the training programme.
The subject involves nature’s life force – energy flowing throughout the environment to benefit people, animals and plants.
The physical flow of energy is the primary mechanism of Environmental Design.
Consultants are taught to understand this energy flow and trained to sense or feel this physical flow. This provides essential feedback on the progress of the work.
The training was based on more than four centuries of practical knowledge of sound environmental practices. It was thorough, with numerous practical sessions and visits to many world cities. The training was finished off with on-job apprenticeships. Finally, I worked as a member of an operational team.
Since then, I have worked on significant developments in North America, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia. I now work in the UK, Singapore and Malaysia.
I have been involved in more than a thousand projects over twenty years. These projects have ranged from a single residential property, office block, and shopping centre to a town (city) design.
Having worked in many places worldwide, I have decided to focus my marketing based in the UK.
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