Walter J. Hood

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Walter J. Hood
Hood in 2016
EducationNorth Carolina A&T State University (BLA)
University of California, Berkeley (MLA) (MArch)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA)
AwardsMacArthur Fellowship

Walter J. Hood (born 1958, Charlotte, NC) is an American professor and former chair of landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley,[1] and principal of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California. In 2019, Hood was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, known as the "Genius Grant".[2]


Hood has worked in a variety of settings including architecture, landscape architecture, art, community and urban design, and planning and research.

Early life[edit]

Hood grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina,[3] and has spent more than 20 years living and working in Oakland, California. He draws on his strong connection to the black community in his work. He has chosen to work almost exclusively in the public realm and urban environments.[4] He went to school at North Carolina A&T State University, receiving a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1981. He has received both his Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989. He also received his Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 in studio arts and sculpture, exploring the role of sculpture and urbanism.[5]


Hood established Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California in 1992. Hood's work spans the range from local, community-based projects—such as Splash Pad Park, a converted traffic island alongside Interstate 580 in Oakland, California[6]—to large-scale garden designs like the grounds for the new M. H. de Young Museum in San Francisco with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron (2005). Hood's public spaces embrace the essence of urban environments and for their links to urban redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization.[7] He is currently designing the landscape for the Autry National Center Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, designing an archeological garden within the context of the South Lawn Project at the University of Virginia, and developing a set of monuments and markers for a six-mile waterfront trail in Oakland, CA.

Hood's published monographs Urban Diaries (Spacemaker Press, 1997) and Blues & Jazz Landscape Improvisations (Poltroon Press, 1993) illustrate his approach to the design of urban landscapes. These works won an ASLA Research award in 1996. His essay "Macon Memories" is included in Sites of Memory: Perspectives on Architecture and Race (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001).

Hood won an international design competition in 2010 for the Solar Strand project—a quarter-mile solar-panel array on the University at Buffalo's North Campus, financed by the New York Power Authority.[8] [9][10]

In 2013, Hood served as one of six selection committee members for the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.[11]

In 2014, Hood was commissioned by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission to create Witness Walls, a commemorative sculpture celebrating Nashville's civil rights history during the 1950s and 1960s.[12][13] A public dedication event for the project, Nashville's first civil-rights inspired public art, was held April 21, 2017.[14]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1997, Hood was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome in Landscape Architecture.[15] His work was featured in the 2006 exhibit "The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation", at the Van Alen Institute in New York.[16] Hood was the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Design[17][18] and has exhibited and lectured on his professional projects and theoretical works nationally and abroad.[19][20][21] In 2018, The USC School of Architecture's American Academy in China (AAC) selected Hood as that year's research fellow. Hood is to design an installation to be executed using only local artisans and materials in Shanghai and Los Angeles; he will also give lectures in both cities.[22]


  • EPACenter Arts site design, East Palo Alto, CA, ongoing[23][24]
  • Witness Walls, public art installation, Nashville, TN, 2017[25][26]
  • International African American Museum Landscape Design, Charleston, SC, 2013–present[27]
  • Foster Homestead and Burial Ground, South Lawn, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA, 2008
  • Coleman Ave Gateway, San Jose International Airport, San Jose Public Art Program, 2007
  • West Oakland Historic Train Depot Plaza, Oakland CA, 2008
  • Phillip Lifeways Plan, Charleston, SC, Spoleto Art Program, 2006
  • Autry National Center Southwest Museum Landscape, Los Angeles CA, 2008
  • East Bay Waterfront Trail, Oakland, California, with EDAW and Associates, City of Oakland, California, 2002-
  • M. H. de Young Museum Landscape Design, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, with Herzog & de Meuron Architects, 2005
  • Lion Creek Crossing Park, Oakland, CA, EBALC, 2006
  • Macon Yards, Poplar Street, City of Macon, Georgia, 2005[28]
  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade Memorial, w/ Ann Chamberlain, Embarcadero, San Francisco CA, 2007
  • Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA, with the Office of Cheryl Barton, 2005
  • Splash Pad Park Renovation and Streetscape Improvement Project, City of Oakland, California 2004


  • Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, 2019
  • MacArthur Fellowship: MacArthur Foundation, 2019[29]
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters: Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, 2017[30]
  • University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning: Dean's Medal, 2014[31]
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum National Design Award for Landscape Design, 2009
  • Virginia Key Beach Museum Competition, Miami Fl/1st Prize w/Huff and Gooden Architects 2005/Merit Award, ASLA, Northern Chapter
  • Oakland Waterfront 2005/Top Honor Award, Excellence on the Waterfront
  • Waterfront Center Award, Oakland Waterfront, October 2004/APWA 2004 Distinguished Project of the Year Award
  • Splash Pad Park/Mayor's Proclamation, "Walter Hood Day", Pioneering Achievements in Urban Landscape Design, City of Oakland, April 24, 2004/National Award of Honor American Society of Landscape Architecture, 2003
  • Project: Baldwin Hills Master Plan 2001/Best of the Best, California Park and Recreation Society 2002
  • Project: Lafayette Square Park/Merit Award, ASLA Southern California Chapter
  • Project: Baldwin Hills Master Plan 2001/Place Design Award, EDRA/Places, Third Annual Award 1999
  • Project: Lafayette Square Park. Poplar Street Civic Design Competition, First Prize. Macon, Georgia. Jan. 1998
  • Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture, The American Academy in Rome, 1996–1997.
  • "Urban Diaries" and "Jazz and Blues Landscape Improvisations", American Society of Landscape Architecture National Award of Merit: Research, 1994
  • Mount Vernon Riverfront Plan, Community Development Award State of Washington, 1988
  • Design Arts Competition, Merit Award, 1988
  • University of California Arboretum at Davis/ASLA Certificate For Excellence in the study of Landscape Design, 1987
  • Thomas Church Design Award for Excellence in Landscape Design/Department of Landscape Architecture at Berkeley, 1987


  • Hood, Walter (2016). "The Greenprint". In Mostafavi, Mohsen; Doherty, Gareth (eds.). Ecological Urbanism (2nd ed.). Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers. ISBN 978-3-03778-467-9.
  • Hood, Walter (2016). "The Consequences of Place". In Ibler, Marianne (ed.). A New Golden Age – Nordic Architecture & Landscape. Aarhus: Archipress M. ISBN 978-8791872129.
  • Hood, Walter; Basnak, Megan (2015). "Diverse Truths: Unveiling the Hidden Layers of the Shadow Catcher Commemoration". In Tauke, Beth; Smith, Korydon; Davis, Charles (eds.). Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-02317-8.
  • Hood, Walter (2014). "Objects in the Field, Photovoltaics in the Landscape". In Scognamiglio, Alessandra (ed.). Photovoltaics, Forms, Landscapes : Beauty and Power of Designed Photovoltaics. Florence: ETA. ISBN 978-8889407110.
  • Hood, Walter (2012). "Bioline: Activating the Mundane". In Jacob, Mary Jane; Baas, Jacquelynn (eds.). Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-38956-1.
  • Hood, Walter (2010). "Center Street". In Mostafavi, Mohsen; Doherty, Gareth (eds.). Ecological Urbanism. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers. ISBN 978-3-03778-189-0.
  • Hood, Walter (15 September 2008). "Reimagining Center Street" (PDF). Places. 20 (2: Climate Change and Place): 85–87. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  • Hood, Walter (2008). "Color Fields". In Treib, Marc (ed.). Representing Landscape Architecture. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-70043-6.
  • Hood, Walter (2005). "Landscape as Social Infrastructure". In Raxworthy, Julian; Blood, Jessica (eds.). The MESH Book: Landscape/infrastructure. Melbourne: RMIT University Press. ISBN 978-0-86459-308-5.
  • Hood, Walter (2004). "Awakening: Quilt Top Patterns in the Third Dimension". In Brown, David; Williams, William (eds.). Row: Trajectories Through the Shotgun House. Houston, TX: Rice University School of Architecture. ISBN 978-1-885232-08-3.
  • Hood, Walter (2003). "Low Cost House, or the House that Roared". In Bell, Michael (ed.). 16 Houses: Designing the Public's Private House. New York, NY: Monacelli Press. ISBN 978-1-58093-114-4.
  • Hood, Walter; Erikson, Mellissa (2001). "Macon Memories: Remaking Poplar Street, The Shifting Black Cultural Landscape". In Barton, Craig Evan (ed.). Sites of Memory : Perspectives on Architecture and Race. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-56898-233-5.
  • Design Culture Now, National Design Triennial, Princeton Architectural Press, NY, 2000
  • Everyday Urbanism, Urban Diaries: Improvisation in West Oakland, CA. Monacelli Press, Inc., 1999. ISBN


  1. ^ "Walter J. Hood Faculty Bio". UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Walter Hood – MacArthur Foundation". Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  3. ^ Blum, Andrew (1 August 2005). "The Peace Maker". Metropolis. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  4. ^ Brown, Patricia (21 March 2004). "He Measures Oakland's Beat, And Parks Bloom in Return". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Walter J. Hood Jr. Resume" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2006.
  6. ^ Capps, Kriston (6 June 2011). "Studio Visit: Hood Design". Architect Magazine. Hanley Wood Media. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2010-12-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Landscape Architect Walter Hood Aims to Build Community-Inclusive Spaces". Fast Company. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Culture Clash: Art, Electrons, Teaching, Research, and Engagement Meet at the Solar Strand" (PDF). University at Buffalo. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  10. ^ Brake, Alan G. (22 April 2010). "Electric Landscape". The Architect's Newspaper. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Call for Entries: $50,000 Award for Urban Excellence".
  12. ^ "Artist Walter Hood". Witness Walls. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  13. ^ Cass, Michael (26 June 2014). "Artist talks about his vision for civil rights piece". The Tennessean. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  14. ^ Bliss, Jessica (18 April 2017). "The story that inspired Nashville's first civil rights public art". The Tennessean. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Fellows – Affiliated Fellows – Residents 1990–2010". American Academy in Rome. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  16. ^ "It looks like the page you requested doesn't exist".
  17. ^ "HISTORY OF HONOREES & JURORS". Cooper Hewitt. 17 May 2014.
  18. ^ Taylor, Tracey (19 December 2009). "A Beach With a Different View". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  19. ^ "October 16, 2014 Lecture by Walter Hood, landscape architect" (PDF). Sustainable Shelby. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Walter Hood, Jr.: Conscious (Un)Conscious Hybrids – Waggonner & Ball Lecture". Tulane School of Architecture. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Glimcher Distinguished Visiting Professor Walter Hood: Conflict, Memory and Landscape". Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University. November 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  22. ^ "USC American Academy in China Names Walter Hood 2018 Research Fellow". USC Architecture. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Ground Breaking Bulletin: Architecture Firm Joins EPACENTER's Youth and a Network of Community Advocates to Build State-of-Art Creative Resource for the City". EPACenter Arts. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  24. ^ "EPACenter Arts". Hood Design Studio. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Witness Walls". Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  26. ^ Mortice, Zach (31 July 2017). "Walter Hood's (Extra)Ordinary Witness". Landscape Architecture Magazine. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  27. ^ Pembrey, Daniel (22 April 2019). "History Comes Alive at These Striking New Museums". Architectural Digest. Condé Nast. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  28. ^ Green, Jared (2 October 2013). "Walter Hood's Hybrid Landscapes". The Dirt. American Society of Landscape Architects. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Walter Hood – MacArthur Foundation". Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  30. ^ "2017 ARCHITECTURE AWARD WINNERS". American Academy of Arts and Letters. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  31. ^ "School of Architecture and Planning Honors Louis P. Ciminelli, Walter J. Hood with 2014 Dean's Medal". University at Buffalo. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2019.

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