Structures (Editor’s Notes)

The Disconnected River
Lazy rivers have become a mainstay in countless waterparks and resort pool facilities. As Eric Herman points out here, it is vitally important that when properties advertise the presence of a lazy river, that it actually fits the definition. As he recently discovered, it’s a surprisingly big disappointment when that turns out to be untrue. ...
WaterShapes 2.0
One theme we’ve worked into these pages more often than any other through the past 30 months has to do with the thought that we all need to find ways to respond to the rapidly evolving market conditions in which we find ourselves. You’ve heard that message from our columnists and many of our feature writers:  Across the board, they’ve argued that outlasting the recession – and, more important, coming out on the other side poised for success – is a matter of adapting and actively developing skills that make sense in light of today’s
Cross Connections
As I see it, watershaping is an activity in which multiple disciplines come together to design, engineer and construct decorative or recreational systems that contain and control water:  pools and spas, fountains, ponds, streams and waterfalls, interactive water systems – “everything from birdbaths to lakes,” as publisher Jim McCloskey is relentlessly fond of saying.   Those multiple disciplines encompass landscape architects and designers, pool designers and builders, architects, interior designers, environmental artists and a host of subtrades as well as adherents of various movements, from historic preservationists to professionals in the green industries. It’s a broad and exciting amalgam of interests, and my sense is that, as
Forward Motions
It’s been almost a year since we announced that WaterShapes would be moving to a bimonthly publishing schedule.  Ever since, we’ve been gratified by the number of people who have stepped up to express their appreciation for the magazine – and their hope that it would soon return to its familiar monthly appearances. Unfortunately, the economy hasn’t improved sufficiently to make that possible.  We’re confident things will eventually turn around and that marketers will once again have the resources to lift us to a point where we can fulfill our readers’ desire for more issues, but until then, we’ll keep on publishing the industry’s favorite magazine every other month and keep upgrading
Greener Grass, Higher Tides
Last year in our May issue, I put a deliberately upbeat spin on market conditions that had prompted us at WaterShapes to switch temporarily to a bimonthly publishing schedule.   The tack I took did not go unnoticed.  In the aftermath of our announcement, of course, many of you let us know that you were four-square behind the magazine and offered to pitch in to do whatever you could to help – all of which was and remains most appreciated.  But there were others who, in various ways, essentially told me that
To Good Use
Welcome to WaterShapes’ 2011 Resource Directory!   It’s our way of wrapping up a year’s worth of issues with a special edition that anticipates your professional needs in times to come.  Simply put, we’ve beaten the bushes and amassed a treasure trove of information that gives you direct, easy access to the products and services you’ll need to excel in the design, engineering and construction of watershapes and outdoor environments of all types in 2011 and beyond. Since the magazine’s debut a dozen years ago, we’ve served as
Transferable Skills
To excel as professionals, watershapers need to develop a good working knowledge of a range of technical disciplines – hydraulics, materials science and geology, for example – and know the ins and outs of structural, electrical and mechanical engineering. No single person needs to have certified expertise in all of those fields, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that anyone who enters the watershaping realm needs to be conversant in the mix of disciplines he or she must coordinate if the goal of
A Sense of Place
Before attending the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Expo in Chicago last fall, I arrived in town a couple days early to spend some quality time with my great friends and long-time WaterShapes contributors Suzanne and Ron Dirsmith, who live and work in Oak Park, a suburb famous for a number of Prairie-style homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Dirsmiths, of course, are accomplished artists in their own right, having distinguished themselves with their work on
The Tastes of Summer
For all the technical savvy, design sophistication and overall smarts demanded of those who reach for the heights in the aquatic arts, I’m often reminded that, at its core, watershaping is largely about fun and enjoyment. For years now, that message has come through in any number of ways in these pages.  Take the columns of Brian Van Bower:  Just about every month, he does an amazing job of persuading us that watershaping is really about good times and the pursuit of the good life.  And he’s not alone in repeatedly driving home the point that
Economy of Motion
As is true of businesses coast to coast, we at WaterShapes are counting the days until the economy turns around.  We do so confident that economic trends are cyclical and that good times have always replaced the bad. But this particular recession has been deeper and longer than most among us have ever witnessed, leaving many companies – including ours – to hunker down and make what we can out of thin stocks of available business.  As has been suggested numerous times in the pages of our magazine, however, this is no time for rash