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Powerful Influences
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Powerful Influences

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WaterShapes LogotypeEric Herman

There’s a new wrinkle in this issue of WaterShapes.

Just inside the back cover, you’ll find “Book Notes,” a brand-new column by landscape architect and watershape designer Mike Farley (click here). This addition to our roster of regular columns will focus on an assortment of books that have served Mike as important influences and ready references throughout his design career.

What he’s offering is much more than a book report or a book review. You won’t find negative comments, and you won’t find discussions of books that don’t interest him or that haven’t served him well in his career. Instead, what you’ll find are his personal comments of a limited selection of what he considers to be truly valuable, utterly indispensable books for the designer – “volumes that speak volumes,” you might call them.

The idea here is to throw some light on the riches available in print to everyone in the watershaping trades. Some of the books are classics; others are newer books that will someday reach that status. In every case, his comments are offered in hopes of guiding you to ideas and influences that will stoke your creativity – and perhaps inspire you to dig deeper when a book or designer or style captures your imagination.

This vein of information is so rich, in fact, that it’s hard to believe that some of this stuff isn’t seen as required reading for anyone designing watershapes of any kind. And make no mistake, this sort of “exploration of influence” isn’t strictly for designers of high-end custom watershapes: Professionals working at all levels of the watershaping trades stand to benefit from information to be found in “Book Notes.”

Consider an upcoming issue’s coverage of a book on Frank Lloyd Wright. Often mentioned in this magazine, he’s without question one of the greatest architects and designers of all time – and part of his greatness is the fact that he has influenced countless other designers who are not nearly so well known but who make use of his guiding principles.

His use of natural light, spatial continuity and horizontal geometry (along with countless other signature points of his highly creative “organic architecture”) have all influenced an enormously broad range of architects and designers. Indeed, our world has been shaped in more ways than we can count by the ideas of this one man. And the same thing can be said to differing degrees of many of the other architects and designers who will be featured in Mike’s columns.

We offer the information with the thought that there’s no way of knowing how powerful an idea or set of ideas can be until it reaches other open-minded, creative people. So dig in and enjoy!

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