10 Years of Next Generation of Parks Events! Walter Hood

October 24, 2019 by Madeleine Koski

We are thrilled to celebrate 10 amazing years of Next Generation of Parks events. This – always free – lecture series has brought leaders and innovators from all around the world to share their stories, working challenges, and successes with us here in Minneapolis. Presenters with various backgrounds have led these thoughtful discussions. From parks planners, to architects, artists, authors, and educators, the Next Generation of Parks Event Series always aims to bring diverse voices into the room.

As we reflect on the vast amount of knowledge, experience, and curiosity that has moved through this space over the past decade, we’re highlighting some past speakers on our blog and updating our community on what many of these well-known leaders are doing today.

Walter Hood:
We start this series with a look back at Walter Hood, of Hood Design Studio, Inc., whom we hosted on December 7th, 2010, in partnership with the Walker Art Center. Since his presentation here in Minneapolis, Hood has continued to excel in his innovative, and multi-faceted design process. This year alone, he received multiple awards for outstanding work within the field. These include: 2019 Knight Foundation Public Spaces Fellowship, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant, 2019 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. Hood’s extensive career boasts a long list of accolades that can be seen here.

Walter Hood founded Hood Design Studio in 1992, in Oakland, California, a design practice focused on issues that address the reconstruction of urban landscapes within towns and cities. The studio practice is “tripartite: art + fabrication, design + landscape, and research + urbanism.” His focus on place and context allow for an organic, meaningful design to take form within each new project.

If you missed Hood’s Next Generation of Parks presentation (or would like to see it again!) you can watch it here:

“Walter Hood’s work exemplifies an authentic approach to connecting with community. By using history and stories, he develops landscapes within communities that are about the people and the place,” observes Paul Bauknight, the Parks Foundation’s Project Implementation Director. “He weaves the essence of culture, presence, and community into his work. Especially in communities of color where our history and stories have not been told and are not represented in the built environment.”

Hood Design Studio’s projects include the acclaimed landscape for the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; a waterfront promenade project for San Pedro’s harbor in Los Angeles; Witness Walls, a public art installation in Nashville, TN; and Poplar Street, a green boulevard in the heart of downtown Macon, Georgia. To see more of Hood Design Studio, Inc.’s projects, take a look here.

We were honored to host Walter Hood here in Minneapolis 10 years ago for our Next Generation of Parks event, and we look forward to following his future successes!

This blog post is one of a larger series we will be running through May 2020 – highlighting past speakers and memorable moments – in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Next Generation of Parks Event Series.

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