Walter Hood On Engaging the Public

Landscape architect Walter Hood feels a responsibility to educate and engage the public in his design commissions, from the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park to a light rail station in Crenshaw, California.
September 23, 2010, 2pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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Dan Macsai at Fast Company notes in this excellent profile that Hood has the chops to be a professional artist, but feels a responsibility to his community: "Besides, few others are interested in designing at the nexus of racial tension, bureaucratic apathy, confused residents, limited funding, and shoddy infrastructure."

"Hood's success has come largely because he has learned to be a community whisperer, creating spaces that have elements the residents want before they even know it. "Nine times out of 10, the thing they are asking for isn't really what they want," he says, "because they're basing everything on a very particular worldview. It's my job to elevate our conversation, knowing that they're thinking like this" -- he brings his hands together -- "and I'm thinking like this" -- he spreads them apart."

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Published on Thursday, September 23, 2010 in Fast Company
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