Delicate Dynamics
One of the skills of a good designer is the ability to recognize those situations in which less is more.  The detail pictured in these pages, for example, shows how the choice to go with a small volume of moving water (as opposed to a torrent) can add immeasurably to a composition's visual strength.   Using this understated approach helps the designer or builder avoid what has become one of the biggest clichés of modern pool design - that is, the outsized waterfall spilling over a single weir from a raised spa into an adjacent swimming pool.  My desire to get away from that monotonous
Back to the Garden
The gardening impulse of the Japanese is truly ancient.  In times before recorded history, sacred outdoor spaces around Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples were arranged according to this design vision.  And through more than 1,000 years of recorded history, gardens have been created and refined by priests, warriors and emperors alike in spaces both public and private. The style isn't original in the strictest sense:  In many ways, the gardens of Japan find their sources in Chinese gardening styles and landscape painting.  But the Japanese developed and refined their borrowings to fit their own national taste for subtle naturalism and elegant rusticity.  The result is an amazingly coherent and distinctive landscaping style that now can be experienced at hundreds of public gardens in Japan. The nice thing today is that you don't have to live in Tokyo to appreciate Japanese gardens - or to incorprate their principles into your designs. In fact, garden designers around the world now use the obvious elements of Japanese gardens - the stone lanterns, gravel and clipped azaleas - in naturalistic and asymmetrical settings of all shapes and sizes.  In some cases, the total look of the garden is Japanese; in others, its principles are used to