Meet the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennale Contributors: Hood Design Studio


Photo: Hood Design Studio

Newcity gets to know the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennale contributors. This segment highlights Hood design studio, a social art and design practice based in Oakland, California. The studio’s practice is described as tripartite: art and fabrication, design and landscape, and research and town planning. Their mission? “We reinforce endemic patterns and practices – those ecological and cultural, contemporary and historical, and those that remain invisible or unrecognized. Urban spaces and their objects act like public sculptures, creating new openings through which to see the emerging beauty, strangeness and peculiarities that surround us. Hood design studio founder and creative director Walter Hood, who is also a professor of landscape architecture, environmental planning, and urban design at the University of California at Berkeley, talks about the upcoming TAXI, saying that we are all part of history and that this moment matters.

Walter Hood, Hood Design Studio

In what ways has your background prepared you and how will it influence your role at the upcoming Chicago Architecture Biennale?

As a graduate of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and a recent exhibitor at the 2019 Biennale, we have a long history with the city. Besides, Hood design studio works in the Bronzeville and Lawndale neighborhoods.

Can you talk about the importance of a festival like CAB in times of pandemic and social and political unrest?

I believe the festival can be restorative and speculative by reminding citizens of the importance of culture and civic participation. Art has always brought people together, whether in times of protest or of unity.

What do you hope viewers take away from this exhibition?

That we are all part of history and that this moment matters.

What excites you the most about going forward?

Make a beautiful grove of trees.


Joseph E. Golightly