Walter Hood

He // Him // His

[ID: Walter smiles as he sits in a chair surrounded by concrete walls.]

Landscape and Public Artist
Oakland, CA
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Steven H. and Nancy K. Oliver.

Walter Hood is the creative director and founder of Hood Design Studio, a cultural practice working across art, fabrication, design, landscape, research, and urbanism, in Oakland. Hood is also the David K. Woo Chair and a 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.

Hood creates urban spaces that resonate with and enrich the lives of current residents while also honoring communal histories. He 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 in urban neighborhoods. Through engagement with community members, he teases out natural and social histories as well as current residents’ shared patterns and practices of use and aspirations for a place.

Hood Design Studio’s award-winning work has been featured in publications including Dwell, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, and Architectural Digest, among others. Hood is a recipient of the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, 2019 Knight Foundation Public Spaces Fellowship, 2019 MacArthur Fellowship, and 2019 Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize.

Portrait photo courtesy of the artist.
  • Artwork by Walter Hood
    The Broad Museum Plaza, 2015. Dimensions 2 Acres. Photo by Mark Boster; courtesy of Hood Design Studio.
    [ID: At night, someone photographs another person posing in front of a precise arrangement of towering equidistant trees with large trucks and full tops. Lights run along the ground, illuminating the trees.]
  • Artwork by Walter Hood
    Double Sights, 2019. Steel structure, engraved Stoneglass, etched stainless steel, dimensions 29 × 12 feet. Photo courtesy of Hood Design Studio.
    [ID: A towering sculpture of two sleek, gray beams leaning against one another in a sunny, verdant plaza. Someone rides by the plaza on a scooter.]
  • Artwork by Walter Hood
    International African American Museum Landscape + Memorial (in progress). Cast concrete, water, dimensions 2.5 acres.
    [ID: A digital rendering of an outdoor plaza made of cast concrete opens out onto a harbor lined with pedestrians taking a daytime stroll.]
Artwork by Walter Hood Artwork by Walter Hood Artwork by Walter Hood