Superstar Oakland artist and designer Walter Hood, 2019 recipient of both the Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship has long focused on social justice and the environment, because, he notes, “Environmental degradation is linked to how we value the people on the land. Hood recently co-edited Black Landscapes Matter (University of Virginia Press, 2020), a book of essays that draw a line from colonial plantations and slavery to segregated cities such as Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was raised. Join San Francisco Design Editor Zahid Sardar and Walter Hood for a frank conversation about racist policies in the built environment that promote disinvestment in Black geographies and cultural landscapes. And, take a tour with them through some of Hood’s most arresting exhibitions and designs, including the landscape concept for the upcoming International African American Museum in South Carolina.
Photo credit Aubrie Pick
Zahid Sardar is a San Francisco-based editor, writer, and curator specializing in architecture, interiors, and design. He has authored many design books, curated exhibitions, and was the San Francisco Chronicle’s design editor for 20 years. Most recently he was the editor-in-chief of Spaces Magazine. His work has also appeared in New York Times, Dwell, Interiors, Western Interiors & Design, Interior Design, House & Garden, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and Landscape Architecture. He has taught design history at the California College of the Arts and has written several other books, including “In & Out of Paris: Gardens of Secret Delights”, “West Coast Modern” and “New Garden Design”.
Artist & Designer WALTER HOOD
Walter Hood is the Creative Director and Founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California. Hood Design Studio is a cultural practice, working across art, fabrication, design, landscape, research and urbanism.
Hood creates urban spaces that enrich the lives of current residents while also honoring communal histories. Hood melds architectural and fine arts expertise with a commitment to designing ecologically sustainable public spaces that empower marginalized communities. Over his career, he has transformed traffic islands, vacant lots, and freeway underpasses into spaces that challenge the legacy of neglect of urban neighborhoods.
He is also the David K. Woo Chair and the Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He lectures on and exhibits professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. He was recently the Spring 2020 Diana Balmori Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and the Spring 2021 Senior Loeb Scholar for the Harvard GSD Loeb Fellowship.
The Studio’s award-winning work has been featured in publications including Dwell, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, Architectural Digest, Places Journal, and Landscape Architecture Magazine. Walter Hood is also a recipient of numerous industry awards, including most recently, the 2021 United States Artists Fellowship. Hood is also a Fellow at the American Academy of Rome and one of the 2021 elected members of the Academy of Arts and Letters. Hood Design Studio is featured in the 2021 AD 100 list.