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Pool Design
DESIGN 322: Audible and Visual Considerations of Water Feature Design

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss acoustics and their effect on the auditory senses.
  • Describe how water features are sometimes used to mask things like road noise and other acoustical pollution.
  • Identify tranquil and pleasing water noise and show how they are generated.


Acoustics play a key role in the experience and ambiance of any space. Big waterfalls or sheets of water falling only a few feet can often result in loud and uncomfortable noise – especially when located in a courtyard or other space with hard surfaces that reflect and enhance those sounds. While some design elements may seem appropriate architecturally, they may fail acoustically. On the other hand, the calming effect of trickling water or the white noise of a larger feature may be the desired effect and used strategically to mask other unwanted noise pollution. Find out how water affects the auditory senses and how you can control it.

Time/ Credits

1:75 hrs


Skip Phillips, SWD Master

Ambassador and Co-founder of GENESIS®
(760) 815-3961

SWD Master Pool Designer
Skip Phillips, SWD Master, GENESIS® Ambassador & Co-Founder

Skip Phillips, former owner of Questar Pools' and the firm's current principal designer, is one of the world's most renowned designers and builders of custom swimming pools, spas and other forms of aquatic architecture. In 1993, the Robb Report declared Phillips "the world's most influential swimming pool designer" and since then he has received extensive coverage in trade magazines and on T.V., including multiple HGTV appearances, newspapers and prestigious national publications including Better Homes & Gardens, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He is co-founder of GENESIS and is a charter member of the Society of Watershape Designers. He is widely credited for transforming and uplifting the pool and spa industry. Phillips' body of work includes some of the most beautiful and technically advanced watershapes of the modern era.