Monday, October 31, 2011


Designers sometimes hear the phrase, "I'm/he's/she's so visual!"

This, I've discovered, usually translates to a designer as: "No you/he/she aren't."

This misleading statement is, I think, due to a difference in definition.  "Visual" to a Designer means you think visuals are important, you value them, and you can see them in your head because you can imagine what something will look like.  To the Non-Designer I think (it's a foreign tongue so I'm guessing), "visual" seems to mean that you literally have to SEE it - for real, in all full physical reality - to understand it.

Kinda the opposite, huh?

I suspect there is a misunderstanding - because I've worked with a few "so visual!" directors.  I've even acted out scenery for them with the help of several people, boxes, sticks, and spike tape at full scale... and this was after the model, the perspective drawings, the construction drawings, the sketches, and a fair amount of hand-waving.

Just a heads-up, Fellow Designers.  "So visual!" can be so misleading.

As for the REAL directoral rattlesnake-warning phrase, it's "I'm open to other ideas."
image courtesy of

There's a pretty funny (mildly insulting!) report on the architectural versions of these warning rattles at Life of an Architect.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Listening to Book CDs in Public

Speaking of books on CD...

I was once listening to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander on the car's CD player, back when it worked, before that ugly eating-the-parking-lot-ticket incident... ahem, anyway!  When the audiobook used to loudly recite to me, I'd drive along, listening to the characters troubles and their (Outlander being racy in part), um, romantic interludes.  Except for at the traffic light.  There I was, listening, and as the narrative got warmer, the guy outside with the cardboard sign got closer, and I turned the volume lower, so warmer, closer, and lower, and so on until in pure embarrassment I hit the "Pause" button.

Ridiculous but true.  It's the same flinching that keeps me from reading certain books on the train in case someone looks over my shoulder.

public domain + Wikimedia mashed

An earlier post on books on CD in the car here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Off I go in Scenic Ride II, my spiffy new set-designer-mobile, the old one having died on me (previous post).  Heading north.  But, unfortunately without my CD book player working.

Reading while driving is bad, right?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Alice on Halloween Sale

Alice Through the Proscenium: more scenic set design goes on sale.  Again.

Those wacky publishers!  They crave excitement I think.  (And I'm excited that Alice is selling better than I'd expected.)  Care to join the rush?  Being "In" and in-formed is suddenly cheaper!

Read more about Alice here.


...sixteen hours later... carpenters wait, one foot in the pickup truck, for sketches to be scanned, to be finished, to be started, after designs get redesigned - fast - so carpenters can estimate materials, so they can buy materials, so they can start building...

 'cause last night the show's concept changed.

Luckily, I like this version better.  These things happen.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Public Domain Images

I found a great new source for public domain images: The Graphics Fairy.

There's a land office rush going on in cyberspace as designers and bloggers (and especially designer-bloggers!) upload the treasury of Victorian images that are out of copyright.  The Graphics Fairy is another rich source.  (I can see I'm going to need to scan in my own old-book illustrations.  "Fly!  Be free!")

From the Graphics Fairy - thanks! - here's an appropriately Halloween-y sample image:

public domain image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Not a Review - Spring Awakening

WaterTower's production of Spring Awakening is a wowser!

So much youth and energy onstage!  I haven't seen the show before, so I can't compare it to the original NY production, but this one is worth seeing.  I really like the music.  Choreography, direction, actors... all just wonderful.

Photo borrowed from WaterTower Theatre

The set - by Chris Pickart - makes a handsome framework, with just enough detail to suggest the period.  Its whitewashed texture of brick, wood, and metal acts as a sort of building/cyc for the lighting.  Leann Burns' lighting is fantastic!  Rock-n-roll colors and moving light; sensitive transitions, mood shifting as if on a swivel; stars; wild grafitti-like scribbles of light dancing; and there's a moment when dots of light seem to flutter across the stage and collect like blown autumn leaves that's so beautiful and so perfect...

This is a show that I could see suffering under a weak production - this marvelous one is worth celebrating!  Glad I caught it on its last day.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where Good Ideas Come From

I'm reading Steven Johnson's book, Where Good Ideas Come From.  Fascinating!

This is a well researched and thoughtful book.  (Useful research for my own project too.)  So far I particularly like the discussion of Darwin's process in thinking through The Origin of Species and the development of GPS.  I find the rebuttal to the Heroic Lone Designer theory interesting too.  I'm pretty sure he's right, it IS the network of seemingly random information and people that enable creativity.  It needs a little chaos.  Yet not too much.  There are some fascinating examples of the ways and means of insight and inspiration.

A link to the author's TED talk: here.  (If you haven't discovered the TED talks... Do so now!)  Or see Bill Gate's book report on the book here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun With Construction Drawings

Here's a little tidbit from today's drafting - a Royal Ensign (a flag, more or less) for the royalty of Seven in One Blow: or the Brave Little Kid that starts building Monday at Circle Theatre in Fort Worth:
Design copyrighted Clare Floyd DeVries

This show should be a heck of a lot of fun!  

(The goofy squirrels BTW are authentically armorial.  Can you imagine a knight riding into battle bearing his Dreaded Squirrels Shield?  It's right up there with Monty Python's rabbit from The Holy Grail for sheer terror, right?)

Radio Silence

Sorry for the sparse postings... I'm in the middle of construction drawings for Seven with One Blow: or the Brave Little Kid and, as soon as that ink dries, leaping into the same type of for-the-builder drawings for my B&W, The Frequency of Death!  In the holding pattern behind those are design sketches for The Diary of Anne Frank.  Then starting Collapse for Kitchen Dog.

Plus I'm writing on The Project.

I'm beginning to develop some momentum... but also an increasing terror as I begin to realize just what a HUGE undertaking I've undertook.  The illustrations alone...  Scary.
the Golden Mean proportions (and Fibonacci series) public domain image

But I do have a juicy post coming soon about my recent jaunt to Houston, where there was Art!  Architecture! and nearby Seafood!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dallas Ferris Wheel

Today's paper tells me that the city of Dallas is considering allowing a Ferris wheel - excuse me "an observation wheel" - to be erected downtown.  Smack dab on Founder's Square next to the county courthouse Old Red.

I must admit I blinked.

But why not?  Really?  If London can have its Eye in sight of the historic Houses of Parliament, why on earth can't Dallas handle one near our courthouse?

Because it's not stuffy?

We desperately need to de-stuffy Dallas.  Let's do it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pratchett's Latest - Snuff

I've just raced through the new Terry Pratchett Disc World R novel, Snuff.

Another adventure starring Sam Vimes (my favorite character) is very welcome.  The humor, invention, and social commentary I expect from Pratchett is here, as well as cameo appearances by other beloved characters.  (Vetinari cursing the newspaper crossword is a hoot.)  None of the new characters introduced, however, particularly caught my fancy, except Tears of the Mushroom.  Her big moment onstage is wonderful.  Young Sam!  I didn't think of his as a "new" character at first, but he's grown so much that he really ought to count as new and delightful.
Image of Commander Samuel Vimes borrowed from

The moral of the story... is maybe a little too obviously a moral.  Perhaps less integrated artistically than in some other Disc World books.  Then again, I read Snuff so quickly, gobbling the plot - as I usually do - that it may come into better balance on rereading - as I always do a Pratchett book.  His novels repay rereading.  There are layers and details and jokes that are easier to catch once the driving question of "What happens next?" is satisfied.

I'll probably reread other books in the series too now; the development of Wilikins the butler here, for instance, casts a new light on earlier appearances.

A good addition to the epic of Disc World.  Highly recommended for Pratchett fans.  (Who don't need me to tell 'em that and are, anyway, busy reading as I type this).  For new readers, I suggest starting at Guards! Guards! (the first Sam Vimes book) or maybe with  more of a stand-alone like Truth, which may be my favorite.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Books - The Weird Sisters

A novel about sisters.

The Weird Sisters is a find - a well written, amusing, sometimes touching book about the complicated relationships of three sisters.  No fantasy, no wild plot, no out and out comedy, just a straightforward novel... dipped in Shakespeare.  The father is a Shakespearean scholar, which warps his family in a way I found entertaining, but the situations and people are essentially realistic and truthful.  A likable book.

Given the backlog of Really Good Novels already written, it's tough to write a new plain ol' novel worth reading.  As this one is.  A debut - I'll be interested to read the next one.
Book cover image borrowed from Eleanor

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not A Review - The Tempest

The Dallas Theater Center's production of The Tempest is interesting.

As we've come to expect, performances were excellent, the Shakespearean language fluid and natural.

The set by Beowulf Borrit is wonderful - imaginative, ethereal, very beautiful, and beautifully used.  It's as if a giant cupped a portion of Prospero's enchanted isle in his hands and deposited it on stage... with crumby edges of dirt and roots left exposed.  The top surface (white carpet like mown grass) encourages the director and actors to roll, slide, crawl, fling themselves down, and make one of the most dramatic entrances ever.

Oddly though, costumes, also by Boritt, were... prosaic.  The black and white theme was strong - the stranded men-in-black become whiter with island dust and mud is a nice conceit - but overall...  Disappointing.  Particularly disappointing were costumes for other-worldy characters like Caliban or  Arial.  The monster?!  I'm restraining myself from smart-mouthed cracks about that monster: suffice to say it'd have better suited Chuck E. Cheese than Prospero's Isle.  (After thinking about it, I'd suggest some creature more crab-like or scorpion-like, in the dusty island colors than this velveteen puppy.)  Even Miranda's costumes were unromantic and, worse, unflattering.  How could the designer of this phantasmagorical set create mundane costumes?  Or... why?

But the set!  In those moments when the lighting design turned to the saturated colors that, for me, are magic onstage, this world was enchanted.
Image borrowed from The designcurve

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Black and White

I just tripped across this photo of last year's Black & White at Pegasus Theatre, Death is No Small Change.

Image courtesy of Pegasus Theatre

Janeites! Grab This Book

I just finished a terrific book about Jane Austen's novels and about more than that:  A Jane Austen Education.

(You!  Rolling your eyes.  Pay attention.)

This book's author, William Deresiewicz, (yes, a guy) started with the same prejudice against ROmance you have, the same girl-talk phobia, the same fear of dreary, verbose 19th century classics written by dead white chicks.

He learned better.

Sure, it's possible to read Austen as gooshy romance (by ignoring her bite, as films tend to) or to read purely for social comedy (by ignoring the suffering), but there's more going on.  But I hadn't considered - in the depth this scholar has - just how much of an instruction manual for life Austen's novels are.  Our age does not much truck with the idea of character building, but that is what Austen writes of: love made possible by understanding another's character and by cultivating our own best self.

Mixing novels with events in his own life, Deresiewicz illustrates Austen's points.  So perfect are his illustrations that I wondered if this was fictionalized.  It's so rare for what is, at one level, a book of literary criticism to be this engaging and this much of a page-turner (I hated putting it down to sleep and started reading again before breakfast) that I can only admit to deep suspicion... (Unworthy suspicion - a character flaw I'm working on.).  Why can't literary and real-life insight be both entertaining and profound...?

(Profound?  Did I type that?  Inconceivable!*)

public domain images mashed

If you, Dear Reader, have read a little Jane Austen, read this book.  Or BUY this book.  (I will.)  If you haven't yet discovered Jane Austen or were taught by 9th grade English class to hate her... please try again.  You'll be a better person.  Start with Pride and Prejudice.  Then read this book.

Earlier post on J. A.

* ( As Vizzini of The Princess Bride would say.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Film Fest - Catch-Up

Movies I hadn't got round to mentioning:

Charlie Bartlett (played by Anton Yelchin) is the hero a sweetly odd film about a high school student with, it seems, a real calling as a shrink... or maybe as a drug pusher?  Robert Downy Jr. as his unhappy Principal with a daughter.

The Tale of Despereaux is the animated quest of a brave mouse and a down on his luck rat - with a who's who of name actors doing vocals.  A good story and the first G rated movie I've seen in a while.  Luckily little kids don't fully understand the threaten-the-princess-with-eating-alive-by-rats thing, huh?  Or the death-in-Colosseum-by-cat thing either.  I liked the soup theme.

Image borrowed from Thany's Thoughts Blog, which has a good comparison of book to film

Something's Gotta Give with great performances by beautifully ripe Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.  (Who knew Keanu Reeves could be so charming?)

And on TV: watching the new season of Castle (the first ep is startlingly serious) and waiting on Bones (having finally caught up).

Conclusions?  All of these were, in their separate ways, worth watching.  Strange to say, but no duds in this bunch.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Model Photography

Many set designs can be well described by sketches, but more abstract or 3 dimensional designs demand a model to explain them.  So last night and this morning I've been building a rough but colored model.  This afternoon I've been trying to photograph it.  Guess which is harder?

Okay, okay, building a model is harder than photographing it - but just barely!

Not having a proper indoor photo studio with lights, I ended up carrying a kitchen chair outside, along with two sheets of white cardboard, masking tape (to deploy these with), the camera, and the model with its 10 little accessory pieces.  Luckily no wind.  Also no real sun - but eventually the cloud passed.  Then I could mock up 6 different scenes with tiny accessories: an itty bitty drop, even teenier tinier trees, a minuscule castle, and a teeninesy heraldic doodads...  Fun!

Image copyrighted Clare Floyd DeVries

Monday, October 10, 2011

World Domination!

Just got a note from my publisher,, that my set design book Alice Through the Proscenium will now be distributed by Amazon in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy.  (It's already been available and selling! in the U.K.)
Kinda cool.  I don't exactly expect a huge rush of Italian buyers - being as Alice is in English - but then again, I've bought several books in Italian though I don't read that language... so maybe, eh?

Any one else miss that great random! cartoon Pinky and the Brain?

Brain: "Are you pondering what I'm pondering Pinky?"
Pinky: "I think so Brain, but if we covered the world in salad dressing wouldn't the asparagus feel left out?"

Perfect Words - On Talking about the Work

"It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work." - sculptor Henry Moore

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another Strike

In the Next Room closed last night and the set came down today.

Sad.  But sorta Circle of Life-ish.

public domain image

Because, of course, this set comes down so the next set goes up.  (I saw its fascinating model at the strike for mine.)  In a particularly life-cycle way, some of my hand-carved brick was saved so that it can be used to build someone else's set elsewhere.  I saved the brick fireplace arch to be an insta-fireplace on some future set of my own.  Plus a lot of curtain fabric ditto.  But then, the screens we used for this set had already been used for a locally filmed television show, before being gifted to Kitchen Dog.  Much of the furniture (borrowed from two other theaters) has appeared in many earlier shows and will appear in yet more... some of them mine.  That's kind of nice to look forward to.

In theater, what goes around comes around and around and around...

(Earlier posts about Strikes: here and here.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Set Designer's Day - Meetings

Funny how meetings seem to flock together.  Yesterday turned into a meeting day - and pretty much the whole day once I reread both scripts (Seven with One Blow or the Brave Little Kid  and The Diary of Anne Frank); added notes and questions to both scripts; doodled; and then actually, you know, met.
Public domain image
Fun meetings with both directors to talk through the plays, the acting space, and what the set needed to accomplish.  Now I'm full of bubbling ideas.

Which is a good thing, because I need to have sketches for Seven by Tuesday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Comic Goes iPad - Ada Lovelace Day

I'm totally bummed.  My favorite online, Steampunk comic becomes an app... and I don't have an iPad to buy it for!  Those of you who DO should immediately rush to iTunes before they run out of pixels!

Image borrowed from 2D Goggles

I've written about this terrific comic before here and here.  

2D Goggles: the thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is created by the gifted Sydney Padua, based on real-life characters - Victorian inventor Charles Babbage and poet and first computer programmer Ada Lovelace (daughter of the poet Byron).  Much historic research goes into these stories, thus the footnotes (I love footnotes)... plus a few flying monkeys. 

Today is Ada Lovelace Day!  In honor of all those unsung heroines who contributed to science, math, technology, computers, all that "mathy" stuff that, you know, girls aren't supposed to be good at?  

In the spirit of Ada Lovelace Day I'd love to write a thank you to one particular Woman who showed me that girls Can-Do. 

But the truth is that there were too many strong, smart women in my life to choose only one. I was never given the slightest hint that girls or women couldn't do ANYTHING they chose, including math, until I was old enough not to be daunted by one pitiful redneck and a few architecture professors.  (Wouldn't those professors be insulted by that comparison?  Ha!) When the redneck said, "Architecture is a man's field," I got stubborn.  

There's not much math in modern architectural practice, but it undeniably uses lots of science and technology and thus math, so:

Here's my thanks to those strong, smart women in my life and to the first female architects in the U.S.!  Mary L. Page, Louise Blanchard Bethune, Sophia Hayden, Marion Mahony Griffin, and Julia Morgan.  Special thanks are due to Sophia Hayden - a sacrifice upon the altar of trail-blazer if there ever was one - and to Julia Morgan - who first proved women could succeed without no quarter given, though she sacrificed having a family to do so.  Women architects still struggle between those choices.  But women now outnumber men in architecture schools, so we'll see won't we?

Architect Sophia Hayden

Architect Julia Morgan

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!  Go thank a strong "techie" woman!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Interesting Architecture Blog

Check out the Tiny House Blog.

What caught my eye was a fun post on "gypsy" (the preferred term, I gather, is "Romany") caravans.    

Image borrowed from Tiny House Blog

Boy!  Do I want one of my very own.  Ever since as a kid I read the chapter in Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows where Mr. Toad has one:

`There you are!' cried the Toad, straddling and expanding himself. `There's real life for you, embodied in that little cart. The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs! Camps, villages, towns, cities! Here to-day, up and off to somewhere else to-morrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing! And mind! this is the very finest cart of its sort that was ever built, without any exception. Come inside and look at the arrangements. Planned 'em all myself, I did!'

The Mole was tremendously interested and excited, and followed him eagerly up the steps and into the interior of the caravan. The Rat only snorted and thrust his hands deep into his pockets, remaining where he was.

It was indeed very compact and comfortable. Little sleeping bunks--a little table that folded up against the wall--a cooking- stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird-cage with a bird in it; and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.

`All complete!' said the Toad triumphantly, pulling open a locker. `You see--biscuits, potted lobster, sardines--everything you can possibly want. Soda-water here--baccy there--letter- paper, bacon, jam, cards and dominoes--you'll find,' he continued, as they descended the steps again, `you'll find that nothing what ever has been forgotten, when we make our start this afternoon.'

Wind in the Willows illustration by Arthur Rackham, public domain

You can read Wind in the Willows at online-literature.

Set Designer's Day - Visit From the Future

Now and then you get a little nudge from the future - in the form of a call or email from a director or producer asking, "How's that design coming along?"

The play's opening may not be for months...  But the design is suddenly NOW!  It's that Time Shortage again.
The vintage blackboard calendar (public domain), courtesy of Happy Hearts at Home 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creative Time Management

 I'm getting writing done.

Can't talk too much about that project though.  Have you noticed how the inspiration tank seems pump out the same amount of creative juice either into the project or into talk about the project?  What spills to the world never fuels the work?  Annoying but apparently true.  So my creative motor is running... and to keep it that way, the radio must stay off.

But I can report that my new Creative Time Management System TM (CreaTuMS for short) seems to be helping!  At least I'm both exercising - right after breakfast - and writing - right after exercising.  No internet or other distractions until their appointed hour.  Not much else seems to be getting done though.  Sigh.
I think my clock just has fewer hours on it than I need.

Can I get my time-tank topped up?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Set Designers' Days - Free-wheeling

As a designer you like to think that you have a set worked out in every detail before it is even built, but, in fact, you can still tweak (and more than tweak) right up to the last second.

It's part of the design process that, as you learn more, you revise what you previously decided upon.

I was recently on another set designer's stage where a lucky dumpster find of handsomely upholstered curtain pelmets threw every other decision into question.  (Pelmets are hard to describe: kinda like curtain "hats"? Box-like-things-at-the-top-of-the-window?  That's an awkward phrase.)  This found curtain thing was so cool it just demanded to be used!
Public domain image, messed with

I too have been known to rework a design to use an unexpected fun-thing.  Or - on the dark side - to change all a set's colors to suit a wrong-sofa.  Just as I once did to for a great sofa on this same stage.  (Sofas!)

Today's Lesson: "More of any design is improv than the audience knoweth."

Latest Book Sale

Those guys at sure like a good sale!  Here's chance to save cash on my set design how-to book  Alice Through the Proscenium:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blogging As Essay

Blogging comes as a surprise.  Not sure what I'd expected... crassly, I guess, just a way to megaphone to the world "Read my Book!"   And it has helped (a teeny tiny little fraction of) the world take notice.  (Sales!  Boris, sales!)  But I hadn't realized the utility of these little essays to me: writing clarifies thought, as Francis Bacon and Michel de Montaigne proved.  A blog post is, I think, a lineal descendant of the essay.

What's shocked  me is that people read what I'm writing.  Readership is UP... reaching scary numbers now.

Thank you, Gentle Readers.  I'll try to make your visits worth your time.

Why read blogs - this or any other?  (Or click on the "follow" button on your right?  Dare ya.)

Well, it's gotta be for either information, opinion, or sheer enjoyment of the writer's voice.  What I like about the essay/blog form, as a reader, is its informal sharing of information and thought.  But what makes me return is its mirroring of the writer: their wisdom, perhaps, but certainly their funny quirks, failings, and odd-ball world view...  As the writer of a blog, this is the terrifying part!  Why attempt this scary thing?  ("Essay" means "attempt.")  Why does my weird opinion matter the least bit?

I comfort myself with Montaigne:

"A straight oar looks bent in the water. What matters is not merely that we see things but how we see them."

Maybe all our "bent" viewpoints matter...
Can we can average 'em together to figure out the "straight" truth?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Film Fest - Paul

Paul is just one more example of that classic genre, the spoofy, vulgar-funny alien and buddies on a road trip film.  Well, it ought to be a genre.

Only a sci-fi film fan can appreciate this film properly, can catch all the Star Wars or Aliens or Close Encounters of the Third Kind quotes... but if you can, it's a lot of silly fun.  (Too potty-mouthed for young kids.)  Here's a link to Paul's film trailer.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Taking Best Advantage of a Building Site

On a recent visit to Fort Worth I got a chance to walk around the new Tarrant County College east campus, which has its grand opening October 1.


I was very excited - months ago - when I drove past the campus on my way out of downtown Fort Worth and I caught a glimpse of the terrific view that the designers opened up.  The north end of downtown, by the County Courthouse, sits on a high bluff that drops down to a loop of the Trinity River - but all this has been hidden for decades by buildings.  When laying out this new college campus, Bing Thom Architects designed a pair of long parallel buildings with a long thin courtyard between them that cuts a descending view through to the river and the historic Stockyards part of town beyond.  Breathtaking.

Tarrant County College, East Campus - view to north

The buildings are interesting, with some nice features like metal fins for shading, though the budget seems extravagant for these austere times.  (No doubt the money was appropriated years ago.)

I do wonder why the buildings had to be gray?  A nice color, sure, and very Architectural, but at this end of Fort Worth the other buildings are mostly Texas pink granite or rosy brick.  I suspect that the architects coming from Vancouver might be a factor in this - northern architects almost always choose darker and grayer materials than local ones, evidence the dark ironstone brick of Dallas' Arts Magnet High School.  Sorry, but North Texas is a tan kinda place.  Prairie?  Context?  (Sorry, this is a thing of mine.)

But the "big" design here - the parti - is very strong.  There are a few awkward details (view above cafe ceiling?), but overall these buildings are nicely realized.  I hope people discover just how cool this place is and adopt it...

Tarrant County College, East Campus - east wing, facing north

The Glory of the place is that canyon of a courtyard, with its amphitheater-like steps, trees,  and wonderful water feature - part fountain, part water-wall or -fall part... rocky mountain stream, burbling between boulders.  Wonderful!

Tarrant County College, East Campus - fountain

I can't tell from what I've found whether the landscaping was done in-house at Bing Thom Architects or if another landscape firm was involved: whoever deserves the credit... deserves credit!