Spring 2014 Public Lecture Series – Walter Hood

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

20140324 PL04_Walter hoodSpeaker: Walter Hood
Lecture Title: Developing a Cultural Practice: Hood Design Studio

About the Speaker:

Walter Hood is an Oakland, California based environmental designer, artist and educator. He is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design Department, which he chaired from 1998 to 2002. His studio practice, Hood Design, has been engaged in environmental design, urban design, art installations, and research commissions since 1992.

Hood works in the urban civic realm, from small community-based places to large-scale landscape commissions. His studio recently completed a 1.1-megawatt photovoltaic array within the campus landscape at the University at Buffalo, the new Powell Street Promenade in San Francisco, which recently awarded an ASLA Honor Award and the new Sculpture Terrace for the Jackson Museum of Wildlife Art in Wyoming. Hood Design was also responsible for the gardens and landscape of the Herzog & de Meuron–designed De Young Museum, in San Francisco. Earlier projects located in Oakland, such as Lafayette Square and Splash Pad Park, are regarded as transformative designs for the field of landscape architecture.

In 2013, Hood was appointed as the inaugural holder of the David K. Woo Chair in Environmental Design. Hood served as a Goldman Sachs Design Fellow for the Smithsonian Institute and as a MIT fellow for Robert Taylor in 2011 and was the 2009 recipient of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Design. He has exhibited and lectured on his professional projects and speculative works internationally.

Lecture Synopsis:

HOOD DESIGN , Oakland, California, is a cultural practice committed to creating environments in which people live work and play. The studio practice engages urban landscape where a collective density of inhabitants share physical, social, political and economic resources. This multidimensional context is the setting for the development of powerful sculpted expressions that explore site specific social and environmental processes. Landscapes and built elements emerge as improvised acts, familiar yet reshaped into something new.

The firm’s principal, Walter Hood, is a Professor and former chair of the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program at the University of California, Berkeley. His area of teaching and research, American urban landscape theory and design, is intertwined with the studio practice forging a didactic approach to projects. Projects range from the scale of the art object, to the neighborhood and city

Hood Design Studio is committed to the development of environments which reflect their place and time specifically through how people inhabit various geographies. Our interest in the re-construction of urban landscapes seek to build palimpsest by developing new elements, spatial forms and objects which validate their existing familiar context. The Studio utilizes ‘research’ in lieu of standardized analytical practices. Project research includes archival and oral histories, physical, environmental and social patterns and practices, to uncover familiar and untold stories. These practices are layered together through an idiosyncratic improvisational design process that builds on architecture and urbanism’s rich tradition which yields familiar, yet new spaces, forms and elements. They assimilate the past and look forward into the future.

This lecture is open to the general public.

The Spring 2014 Public Lecture Series are co-sponsored by “Ronald Lu & Partners (HK) Ltd.” & “Woo, Chow, Wong & Partners (HK) Ltd.” visiting lectureship in architecture.