Walter Hood appointed Spring 2021 Senior Loeb Scholar

Headshot of Walter Hood, who is smiling and wearing a brown scarf.

Walter Hood has been appointed the Harvard GSD Loeb Fellowship‘s Spring 2021 Senior Loeb Scholar, a cherished and dynamic role within the GSD community. The heart of the Senior Loeb Scholar program is a week in residency at the GSD in which the Scholar presents a public lecture, workshops, and other engagements. The Senior Loeb Scholar program has offered the GSD community opportunities to learn from and engage with visionary designers, scholars, and thought leaders in a uniquely focused context.

Hood will join the GSD for the traditional Senior Loeb Scholar week “in residence” (virtually) next February 22 through 26, 2021. Details on Hood’s residency engagements will be shared in the coming weeks.

Hood is the David K. Woo Chair and Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, and was recently the Spring 2020 Diana Balmori Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He also is Creative Director and Founder of the Oakland-based Hood Design Studio, which he established in 1992.

Over his career, Hood has reworked sites like traffic islands, vacant lots, and freeway underpasses into dynamic spaces that challenge the legacy of neglect of urban neighborhoods. Through engagement with community members, he teases out the natural and social histories as well as current residents’ shared patterns and practices of use and aspirations for a place. Most recently, his landscape design concept for the International African American Museum drew inspiration from the cultural significance of the museum’s story and the local landscape of the Carolina lowcountry, taking cues, as his studio writes, from the tradition of “hush harbors”—landscapes where enslaved Africans would gather often in secret, outside the view of slave owners, to freely assemble, share stories, and keep traditions from their homeland alive.

Hood recently co-edited Black Landscapes Matter (2020, University of Virginia Press) alongside Grace Mitchell Tada. His Senior Loeb Scholar appointment follows a series of recent honors: he is a recipient of the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, 2019 Knight Foundation Public Spaces Fellowship, and 2019 MacArthur Fellowship. And just this month, Walter Hood Studio made its debut on the esteemed AD100 list.

Hood joins a cohort of previous Senior Loeb Scholars, who include Bruno Latour (2018-2019); Kenneth Frampton and Silvia Kolbowski (2017-2018); Richard and Ruth Rogers (2016-2017); and David Harvey (2015-2016).

Learn more about the Loeb Fellowship via the Loeb Fellowship website.