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On the Edge Honoree: Walter Hood

Walter Hood is a landscape and public artist creating urban spaces that resonate with and enrich the lives of current residents while also honoring communal histories. Hood’s firm, Hood Design Studio, is a cultural practice committed to creating environments in which people live, work, and play. The studio practice engages urban landscape where a collective density of inhabitants shares physical, social, political, and economic resources. This multidimensional context is the setting for the development of powerful sculpted expressions that explore site-specific social and environmental processes. Landscapes and built elements emerge as improvised acts, familiar yet reshaped into something new.

Hood received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2019 and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. Hood’s upcoming work includes the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC; the Oakland Museum of California redesign of the garden terraces; and an exhibition at Museum of Modern Art titled Reconstructions.

Hood Design Studio designed the de Young museum gardens in Golden Gate Park. The landscape is five acres of restored space that integrates historic elements from the old de Young—including the sphinx sculptures, the Pool of Enchantment, and the original palm trees—as well as sandstone, redwood, ferns, and other plants and materials relevant to the site, creating a museum that is permeable, open, and inviting to the public.

On the Edge Honoree: Walter Hood