You hold in your hands the product of evolution. Like all evolutions, this one started out simple, the conceptual equivalent of a gelatinous, single-celled organism.

We started hearing from aquatic designers and architects about how much more they could do if they weren’t so constrained by their customers.

That information grew into a question: What if we gave them the opportunity to show readers what they could do if they had no constraints? What if we took away all of the budgets, boundaries and borders?

That question naturally developed into our very first Dream Facilities issue, a magazine packed with cutting-edge designs from top industry architectural firms. The creature we called Dream Facilities continued on in that state for two more years and in that time, perhaps planted some seeds of its own.

But as with all evolving things, survival meant Dream Facilities had to grow and change with its environment. And while there’s no doubt that designers and architects would still love to be unencumbered by such trivialities as budgets, boundaries and borders, the reality is that they, and our readers, are.

Could Dream Facilities exist in reality? When we started looking around, we realized that even with real-world constrictions, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

Thanks to new technology and innovations, today’s designers and architects are creating some truly dreamy facilities.

So it is that Dream Facilities has evolved into Dream Designs — a showcase of the industry’s most imaginative design and architecture.

It’s a lofty title, to be sure. But I defy anyone to look at the innovative designs of the new Aquaventure at Atlantis by Cloward H20, or the meticulous details of National Rock & Sculpture’s Los Rios Indoor Waterpark, and say these facilities are anything but.

Indeed, all of the facilities represented here — and their creators — truly live up to the name.

So I want to thank them for helping Aquatics International continue its evolution. But it doesn’t stop there because evolution is never only about a single organism.

As you look through this issue, the aquatic creations doubtless will inspire you to dream. Those dreams will gestate until they are ready for their own evolution, whether a year or five years from now. With the right timing and conditions, it will happen. Survival depends upon it.

If I’ve learned anything from watching Dream Designs evolve, it’s this: Whether it’s a magazine or a facility, we must continually adapt to our changing world; we must strive to grow and become something more.

Only then can the germ of our ideas take wing and evolve from dream to reality.

Gary Thill

Aquatics International welcomes feedback from readers. All correspondence may be edited for clarity and space considerations. Please include your complete name and contact information.Letters may be sent by mail to Aquatics International, Attn: Editor, 6222 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90048; by fax to 323.801.4986; or via e-mail togthill@hanleywood.com.

Credit: Gary Thill