Travelogues & History

Stepping into History
On February 17, Watershape University presented a special on-location edition of its Wolfpack Webinar Wednesdays. Hosted by Dave Peterson, the program took a deep dive into a massive natural swimming pool project currently being installed in one of Southern California’s most historic private residences. ...
Concrete Contemporary
Concrete is amazing material. Its presence in the modern architectural landscape is so widespread and diverse, it can be easy to miss the masterful way it's been used both as a structural and aesthetic element. Here's an example of both, a modern classic Eric Herman discovered near his home in the California desert.
The Eternal Joy of Water
In this delightful and insightful essay, Anthony Archer Wills takes us on a far-flung journey into bathing traditions and the use of water in fine art. A pursuit, he explains, that is both exciting and worthwhile because to create with water is to understand its profound influence on our forms of creative expression, emotion and even spirituality. 
Victory in Venice
  In a dramatic example of human ingenuity, Venice, Italy, scored a major victory in its fight to survive rising waters that have threatened its very existence. Nearly five decades in the making, the city recently raised a system of barriers preventing a potentially devastating flood.
Long Live the Sundlaugs
As an admitted word geek devoted to writing about all things aquatic, it's always exciting to learn a new term or phrase. I recently read a great story from bbc.com about Icelanders' love or even obsession with public swimming pools, which in the Icelandic language are known as "Sundlaugs."  The story chronicled the day that public pools reopened in Iceland after two months of shutdown due the current pandemic. At midnight on that Sunday, throughout the
Learning by Adventure
Editor's note: Welcome back to Open Waters, the space where we explore the wide world of water in a series of blogs, book reviews, charitable profiles, and travelogues. The topic of this 2nd edition profile was brought to our attention by Wallace "J" Nichols, author of "Blue Mind" and co-founder (with Watershape University) of the Live Blue Foundation.
The Waters of Washington
The word "awesome" is badly overused these days, but not so when it comes to describing the waters of Washington State, where living in a state of awe is a common state of mind. My wife, Diane, and I recently concluded four years living in the wilderness there and came away from that experience with deepened appreciations for the many ways the presence of water influences how people live. Not to mention how water shapes everything from politics to geography to the names of the professional sports teams. The presence of water in the landscape profoundly impacts the lives of the people who live around it, and that's been true throughout human history. Because we rely on the presence of water for our survival - as well as transportation, recreation, agriculture and manufacturing everything from medicine to steel - how we choose to
Experiencing the Void
When WaterShapes went all-digital back in July 2011, there was one big story looming in the print-magazine horizon: That summer, as finishing touches were being added to the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, we were all set to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the fountain portion of the project in a September issue that never materialized. This missed opportunity with the memorial has been somewhere in
A Chance Encounter
This is a tale of frustration followed by great joy. On my way home from the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show last month, I paused in Philadelphia to spend three days visiting with two of my daughters. Beyond catching up with them, I had a mission: I wanted to see the remodeled fountain in Franklin Square. It was under construction the last time I visited, and my understanding is that it is now
Mountain’s Majesty
When my wife and I made the long drive from St. Louis to Los Angeles in October 2017, I knew that once we crossed the Missouri state line in Kansas City (the glorious "City of Fountains"), we weren't going to see any significant watershapes on the path we'd selected. We stopped in some great non-aquatic spots in Kansas, memorably the Wizard of Oz Museum in Wamego and S.P. Dinsmoor's Garden of Eden in Lucas. But mostly we set our sights on pushing through at an unwavering pace to Durango, Colo., with thoughts of