2011 Recipient | Collaborative and Professional Achievement
Walter J. Hood, Jr. | Notes of Interest
Walter Hood is Professor and former Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and principal of Hood Design in Oakland, California. Since 1992, his studio's contributions have spanned the design profession and have included community and urban design, planning, landscape design, art installations, and research.
Hood was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome in Landscape Architecture in 1997, and has exhibited and lectured on professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. His work was featured in the "Open" New Designs For Public Spaces, the Van Allen Institute, NY, Metropolis Magazine, the New York Times and Dwell Magazine. His published monographs—"Urban Diaries" and "Blues & Jazz Landscape Improvisations"—illuminate his unique approach to the design of urban landscapes. These works won an ASLA Research Award in 1996. This year, he appeared on the cover of Fast Company Magazine (Oct, 2010) as one of three "Masters in Design," the magazine's article noting his goal as "to prove that every place, and every person, can benefit from good design." (p.122).
The variety of Hood's work is astounding. He has worked in dark, untouchable urban places like the concrete aprons under the freeways in Oakland, as well as those very light, bright public spaces like the DeYoung Museum garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. For the latter project, he collaborated with architects Herzog and De Meuron to restore a five-acre park and create spaces that are an interaction between art and park, blurring the lines between the architectural experiences of "inside" versus "outside." Another project is the new landscape for the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles, for which he has been collaborating with HGA Architects & Engineers and Huff and Gooden Architects to create a destination space within the vast network of Exposition Park's pedestrian paths. The geographic reach of his work stretches even further, bringing him to Wyoming where he brought about the new Sculpture Terrace for the Jackson Museum of Wildlife Art. His breadth also includes Buffalo, New York, as last April, Hood Design was selected from an international competition to integrate a 1.1 megawatt photovoltaic array with the campus landscape at the University of Buffalo. Hood is currently working with Diller Scofidio Renfro on several design competitions around the country.
His art installations deserve additional recognition, such as the installation he created for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Monument at the Embarcadero in San Francisco. This project seeks to create a lasting memory and provoke the imagination of those who visit. It inspires movement, causing the visitor to interact with the images and invest as a part of the history.
"The Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement should be awarded to someone who is truly collaborative, who lifts our spirits and raises the design dialogue to new heights," says Michael Franklin Ross, FAIA, in his nomination letter, "This is what Walter Hood does every day."
- Photo Credit: © Hood Design
Walter J. Hood, Jr.
Remarkable. This is someone who shows what can be accomplished even with modest means and within some environments that challenged the addition of beauty.
Walter makes some striking design statements and brings a higher level of design to communities and parts of communities that are underserved. He has a beautiful set of projects that work within their contexts. They are generative; they generate positive urbanism around them.
There is a fine eye and hand involved in his craft.
2011 Institute Honors for Collaborative and Professional Achievement Award Jury
- Chris Morrison, AIA, (Chair)
- Cunningham | Quill Architects
- Washington, D.C.
- Edward Feiner, FAIA
- Perkins & Will
- Arlington, Va.
- David Frommer, AIA
- UNLV Planning and Construction
- Las Vegas
- Diane Georgopulos, FAIA
- Mass Housing Finance Agency
- Cambridge, Mass.
- Clyde Porter, FAIA
- Dallas County Community College District
- Mesquite, Tex.