Water Wisdom
Our human attraction to water is well documented, observes Lauren Stack, but none of us are automatically comfortable around it, nor do we often learn to swim without access to lessons. That's a pair of issues this article addresses while pointing toward a compelling aquatic future.    
The Future for Pools?
To gain a larger perspective on what tomorrow holds for our planet and our watershapes, writes James Robyn, start by looking beyond our day-to-day lives to see what history, science and astronomy can tell us -- then consider what it'll take to ensure a long, safe, prosperous future.      
Just the Opposite
'Is it honest to say that too few of the swimming pools you find in America's backyards are what one could call well built - and that even fewer of them are well designed?  I think so,' wrote Brian Van Bower in opening his Aqua Culture column for April 2002, 'because so many of the pools I see run like junk and look like junk.' 'The environment out there is so unfortunate that
The Best Medicine
‘At nearly five months and counting, it’s clear that many of us are still trying to sort out, understand and learn to live with the events of September 11, 2001 – and I suspect that, on some levels, we will be doing so for months or even years to come.’ That’s how Brian Van Bower began his column in the February 2002 issue of WaterShapes – an essay in which he defined a transcendent role for watershapes and conveyed a message about
The Anxieties of Influence
'I can be quite outspoken,' declared David Tisherman in opening his Details column in the November/December 2001 issue of WaterShapes.  'Here's the unvarnished truth:  No more than a hundred pool builders out there can legitimately call themselves designers, . . . while only a handful design at the very highest level.' 'Almost always, the difference between these top-level designers and
Dry-Side Adventures
I hadn't thought about LandShapes in years - and my suspicion is that most readers of this newsletter aren't even aware that it existed for a glorious five-issue run between May 2006 and February 2007, by which time it was clear to me that the magazine wasn't going to thrive. It's departure from the scene was a
Stunted Expectations
Back in 2007, I helped a friend through part of the process of updating the exterior of his five-unit horseshoe of courtyard apartments.  I was mostly there for moral support as he reviewed drawings and sought feedback on features for the common space. He had a vision - a small bowl fountain toward the back, a large
Conflicted Interests
The other day, a friend sent me a link to an Australian web site promoting a town council’s campaign to get homeowners to convert their swimming pools into ponds.  I know of several watershapers who get involved in these sorts of projects stateside; in fact, WaterShapes EXTRA once featured a pool-to-pond transformation in which an old, unused pool became a great display pond for a garden center (linked below). The point that grabbed my attention
2011/8.2, August 24 — Fire Features, Improving Performance, Marilyn Monroe and more
August 24, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM LESSONS LEARNED Mastering Outdoor Fire Features ‘Through the past decade or…
2011/4.1, April 13 — Pond Liners, Rainwater Capturing, Book Notes and more
April 13, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM LESSONS LEARNED Pond Liners and the Sun ‘When rubber liners are…