Watershape University

Design excellence and adaptability are what separate the artist from the average practitioner. That distinction begins with the basic elements and principles of design taught in this class. Students learn to apply basic concepts to create beautiful spaces that connect with the surrounding environment, invigorate the spirit and invite exploration. Blended Delivery Method: The first 8 hours of this program is done asynchronously online, meaning that you take the approximately 1-hour lecture units at your own pace. The second 8 hours is done as a live workshop with multiple instructors to assist with project completion where you really get to put the lecture into action.

Learning Outcomes

  • List architectural elements of design including point, line, shape, space, texture, color and form.
  • List architectural principles of design including balance, hierarchy/emphasis, repetition, rhythm, proportion/scale, movement, contrast and unity/harmony, variety, pattern, and negative space.
  • Discuss design vocabulary, space programming and adjacency, design theory visual design basics, pool design trends and site features and the Blue Ocean Strategy.
  • Apply elements and principles of design to an in-class project.


  • Duration: 16 hours
  • IACET CEUs: 1.6
  • All students who complete the course and evaluation form receive a Certificate of Completion documenting 1.6 IACET CEUs even if they do not continue with the Certified Watershape Designer (CWD) certification.


There is one option:


  • 8-hours online on-demand plus 8-hours live in-person
  • See schedule for upcoming live in-person classes

Online On-Demand Units:

  • Start online units immediately at your convenience
  • Available 24/7/365
  • Start and stop at your own pace
  • Repeat content as needed
  • The course is organized into roughly one-hour logical units of study. You can tackle one at a time or even stop after 20 minutes and start over later or simply resume where you left off.
  • The manual is available as a PDF download
  • Instructors are available for calls during normal business hours
  • No travel or lodging expenses!

Live In-Person Units:

  • A typical course runs 8-hours in a single day
  • Complete attendance is required
  • Ask questions as they come up
  • Manual is provided in class
  • Instructors are available for questions during the lectures
  • Travel, lodging and meals are the responsibility of the student
  • Watershape University provides lunch


Check back soon — our schedule may update at any time.

Live In-Person

  • Typically $1400 although other fees might apply
  • Not currently scheduled
  • If you are interested, please email info@watershape.org


Watershape University’s DESIGN 2211: Essential Principles of Design Workshop is the heart of an overall design strategy that extends into drawing, color, materials, textures and incorporation of architectural and historical details.

DESIGN 2211: Essential Principles of Design Workshop supports the following certifications:

International Watershape Institute (IWI)
International Watershape Institute (IWI)
Certified Watershape Professional (CWP)
Certified Watershape Professional (CWP)
Certified Watershape Designer (CWD)
Certified Watershape Designer (CWD)

Licensing and CEUs

The Certified Watershape Designer (CWD) certification may be used for contractor licensing and required continuing education in certain jurisdictions. The CWD certification builds upon the CWF certification; therefore, all Certified Watershape Designers (CWDs) are also CWFs which support licensing in the following jurisdictions:


DESIGN 2211: Essential Principles of Design Workshop is intended for and attended by designers, builders, and consultants — particularly those seeking an approach to design that follows the natural art and science of elements and principles of design.

Level: 2 – Sophomore / Novice / Limited Experience

There are no prerequisites for DESIGN 2211: Essential Principles of Design

DESIGN 2211: Essential Principles of Design Workshop is a prerequisite for the following program:

  • DESIGN 4211: Advanced Elements and Principles of Design Workshop

Manual Table of Contents

  • Introduction to the Elements and Principles of Design
  • Point, Line, Shape, Form, Space
  • Hue, Value, Texture
  • Balance, Emphasis
  • Movement, Pattern, Repetition
  • Proportion
  • Rhythm, Variety, Unity
  • Design Vocabulary
  • Space Programming & Adjacency
  • Design Theory & Style
  • Visual Design Basics
  • Prescribed Process
  • Pool & Outdoor Living Trends
  • Refine Your Narrative
DESIGN 2211: Essential Principles of Design Workshop

Authorized Faculty

Kurt Kraisinger, PLA, LEED AP

Kurt Kraisinger, PLA, LEED AP

For 25 years, Kurt has provided design and consulting services for various planning and landscape architecture projects throughout the United States. In June of 2009, he left as a managing partner of MKEC Engineering Consultant in Kansas City to open the doors of LORAX Design Group. Building Lorax over the last ten years has afforded him the opportunity to continue doing what he does best—using his passion for design to turn outdoor spaces into meaningful and memorable places that invite people to fully engage in their surroundings and make a positive impact on the environment. Kurt has an extensive background in the industry where his professional focus has included private residences, large master-planned residential communities, corporate office campuses, commercial retail centers and mixed-use development projects. He has a special interest in elevating the swimming pool industry by designing quality swimming pool and spas. Kurt is refreshed by movie marathons and spending time with his family.