Welcome to Pool & Spa News’ fourth annual Masters of Design Issue. These pages celebrate some of the most incredible aquascapes our industry has to offer, and I’m so proud to have the chance to showcase them.

In an effort to enhance the program, we did things a little differently this year. Rather than judge all of the entries ourselves, we enlisted the expertise of some past Masters of Design winners to provide feedback. First, each project went through a preliminary round of judging from our Editorial Department. The installations receiving the highest scores then were given to one of five judges, who spent hours poring over the photos. Finally, representatives from our staff met with each judge and, together, we decided on the winners.

The decision paid off big time.

In a few cases, the judge noticed details that our staff had missed, and these seemingly small things made all the difference in the world. For example, on one of the vinyl projects, Mike Giovanone (winner 2005) pointed out that the stamped deck had probably required six separate loads of concrete. He then discussed how impressed he was by the uniformity of color, line depth and shape of the stamp.

In another instance, there was a spa installation we liked. However, Rick Knight (winner 2002, 2005) pointed out a piece of sloppy craftsmanship that, frankly, we all had missed.

So, though Masters of Design clearly belongs to Pool & Spa News, in a way, it belongs to the industry judges as well. Each of them invested enormous time and energy working with us to select these spectacular projects.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank them:

Ariel Asturias

John Dubyoski

Mike Ferraro

Michael Giovanone

Rick Knight

Michael Schneider

Erika Taylor