Hood Design was established in 1992 , in Oakland, California. The firm is committed to issues that address the re-construction of urban landscapes within towns and cities. Urban is defined as those landscapes where there is a collective density of inhabitants who share physical, social, political and economic resources. The firm’s approach is multi-dimensional, exploring the role of specific landscape typologies that together reinforce and re-make landscape into the city morphology.
The firm’s principal, Walter Hood, is a Professor and former Chair of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Hood has worked in a variety of settings including community design, urban landscape design, art and research. He was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome in Landscape Architecture, 1997. He has exhibited and lectured on his professional projects and theoretical works nationally and abroad. His work was recently featured in Open, New Designs for Public Space, The Van Alen Institute, 2003-04. His work was also featured in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, 2000, and his firm is designing the gardens and landscape for the New De Young Museum, San Francisco with Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron scheduled for completion in 2005.
Walter Hood’s 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. His essay “Macon Memories” is featured in Sites of Memory, Princeton Press, 2001. Hood participated in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Revelatory Landscapes” Exhibition 2000- 2001. He is currently researching and writing a book entitled Urban Landscapes; American Landscape Typologies, to be published soon. His area of teaching, the American Urban Landscape, is intertwined with his design work creating a didactic approach to the design of urban landscapes.
Hood Design is committed to the development of environments which reflect their place, time and social uses. Our interest in the re-construction of urban landscapes seek to develop new elements, spatial forms and objects… validating their existing familiar context. The firm’s method of design utilizes ‘research’ in lieu of standardized analytical practices. Research for each project include archival and oral histories, physical, environmental and social patterns and practices, to uncover familiar and untold stories. These elements are layered together through an improvisational design process which yields familiar yet new spaces, forms and elements. They assimilate the past and look forward into the future.