Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Anyone can call themselves a "pool designer..."

A vanishing edge, perimeter overflow, infinity edge, knife edge, wet deck, disappearing edge pool or spa, is not appropriate for every situation. Just because a view over looks the water, a canyon, or other natural feature, does not automatically dictate that the design requires a special water in transit effect pool.

Though the swimming pool industry is fraught with so-called "pool designers, " very few possess the ability to actually design. When you view an image of a swimming pool, how often are the residence & surrounding environment shown in the image?

I offer the argument that if (and when) the buildings are shown in the images, you will quickly "feel" something is amiss. The total scene just does not "look right." Most people can never identify exactly what is wrong with the scene - but there is a sense of uneasiness.

Anything can be built anywhere.... but a talented designer is the one who can make everything work together, to appear as though they "just belong." Just because someone has a degree in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, or another design field does not make them "a designer." There are a lot of folks in those fields who do not possess any creativity. College cannot bestow upon someone a sense of color, spatial relationships, or creative talents. Yet because they went to college & studied in a particular field, they call themselves a "designer."

There are millions of people who design products, buildings & landscapes... yet, only a handful of those individuals are true masters of their craft, who possess an innate ability to design. A sense of design that they were "born with." The same is true in the swimming pool industry... though there are many who sell, draw or build swimming pools - there are very few who possess the natural ability to actually design.

It is a talent that one is really born with... though it can be learned. But you can easily distinguish to whom this talent comes naturally from the rest who have a rigidness to their designs & ideas. Most of the later, merely rehash or combine the work of others into something they call their own.

Anyone can use tracing templates or computer software to create a layout for a yard or site. But those methods are limited by the collection of templates or the software code. Neither considers all of the facets that go into designing a project:

A. Many designs do not take into consideration how long the client will be in the property, and how their lifestyles may change or evolve during that period. This could be a topic unto itself....

B. Though a client may want a particular feature (e.g. rock waterfall), it may not be right for the site. A true designer will be able to talk the clients out of such a monstrosity, and will offer alternatives that "work."

How often have you seen a huge pile of rocks stacked on the side of the pool? Have you ever seen such piles occurring in nature in the middle of a field or flat area? Of course not... that's why it looks so unusual & out of place, it is because waterfalls do not occur on flat terrain! In nature, when water does appear on flat terrain, it is usually merely a spring or muddy watering hole.

C. Architecture of the site. How often have you seen a Polynesian theme yard on a Contemporary style residence? Or an amorphic free-form pool on a modern rectilinear house? Or a contemporary pool in the yard of a New England/Cape Cod clapboard house? Does the pool need to be situated to afford or block certain views? Is privacy from the uphill neighbor an issue? Are their prevailing winds or sunlight that need to be filtered? The list is endless...

D. "Just because you can" does not make it right. Just because you can place a fire feature on the pool, does not make it right. Just because you can place a waterfall on the pool, does not make it right. Just because you can install a vanishing edge on the pool, does not make it right. Everything has to work...

It is not about what is right for the builder's wallet, or always what the client initially wants... many times they are not even aware of their options. It is what works for the site, given the client's parameters. There is always a creative solution to a property owner's bad taste. Someone who is confident in their design abilities will be strong enough to offer creative solutions & ideas counter these ideas.

In order to design something, they must also possess an intimate knowledge as to how to build it. If they do not possess that knowledge, then they must be able to "park their ego" and be able to hire someone who can consult with them to "pull it together." In other words, "to conceive it, you must know how to build it right."

The person who possesses an innate design sense is the person who establishes new trends, has innovative solutions to issues, conceals utilitarian components of the project, and forges trails in territories where "no man has gone before."

Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist
"Creating water as art."™
Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa