WaterShapes — Where Water Becomes Art
WaterShapes is an all-digital publication focused on the design, engineering and construction of recreational and decorative bodies of water. It was launched in 1999 as a business-to-business print magazine, with the goal of defining a new industry, the “watershaping” industry; an amalgam of professionals who imagine and create pools, spas, fountains, ponds, streams, waterfalls, splash pads, water parks, lazy rivers, Zen gardens and even bird baths.
For professionals and consumers who make water part of their lives, there is no other resource like it.
In 2020, WaterShapes became part of Watershape University, an industry education provider that takes its name and inspiration from the publication. Today, the publication exists as an online resource with twice-monthly digital editions and this website, which contains more than 4,000 articles. The content is archived in searchable format, with digitized versions of the original print issues and everything else ever published under the WaterShapes banner.
The publication was started by veteran publisher and editor, Jim McCloskey, who coined the word “watershapes” one night in 1998 while sitting in his spa and drinking margaritas. He wanted to create a term to unify the multiple industries that focus in part or in whole on water. It took a while, but the term and the concept caught on over the years.
With the help and leadership of WaterShapes founding editor, Eric Herman, the team succeeded in creating a publication that celebrates water as an architectural design element and defines benchmarks for technical proficiency in containing and controlling water. The content is as vast and varied as the world of water itself.
WaterShapes has always looked at the use of water in the context of the broader landscape, and as a natural architectural companion to homes, resorts, and recreational facilities of all types. WaterShapes also highlights the health benefits of an aquatic lifestyle, and examines resource management and environmental issues. The content includes the history of water and the many ways that water impacts the human condition and experience.
After several years away, Herman returned to his original role as WaterShapes editor in spring 2020. With McCloskey now retired, Eric continues to push the content in a variety of practical and adventurous directions, while always adhering to WaterShapes’ original mission and vision.