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Home » » Winner: HOOD Design
Splash Pad Park, Oakland, California, 2003. Photo: Marion Brenner


The three main criteria for the jury are excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life. What do you think?

Visitor comments

  1. I was interested in why HOOD deserved this award so I read the blurb provided and, honestly, I don’t understand a word. Is there anything meaningful in the sentence “Hood design’s approach is multi-dimensional, exploring the typologies and topologies that together reinforce and re-make landscapes that are specific to place and people.” Typologies and topologies? Is that deliberately baffling? And “specific to place and people”? That phrase is so bland it is dead in the water. With respect, I can’t help thinking that HOOD and your other winners would be better served by descriptions that actually said something, rather than empty waffle. If this sort of writing is supposed to sound clever, I can assure you it does not!

    — Joe Pontin · May 29, 12:00 PM

  2. “Empty waffle” indeed! It’s design lingo. Let me take a stab at translation. I think it might mean: “Hood experiments with categories and arrangements of hardy plants when he designs site specific landscapes that are intended to be well-suited to how people will ultimately use them.” Alternatively, you could say something like: “Hood designs urban gardens that are attractive and functional.” I’m pretty sure that here, typology means categories or types. And topology means place. That’s my best guess. Translating academic design-talk is a full time job, and I’ve observed that a staff design editor could benefit the Cooper-Hewitt’s mission. To the layperson it sure can sound uniquely pretentious and obscure, which is the definition, I believe, of gibberish.

    — TJ Ward · Jun 16, 08:04 AM

  3. These terms are quite common in the physical design profession.

    Typology (in urban planning and architecture) is the taxonomic classification of (usually physical) characteristics commonly found in buildings and urban places, according to their association with different categories, such as intensity of development (from natural or rural to highly urban), degrees of formality, and school of thought (for example, modernist or traditional). Individual characteristics form patterns. Patterns relate elements hierarchically across physical scales (from small details to large systems).

    Topology (from the Greek τόπος, “place”, and λόγος, “study”) is a major area of mathematics concerned with spatial properties that are preserved under continuous deformations of objects, for example deformations that involve stretching, but no tearing or gluing. It emerged through the development of concepts from geometry and set theory, such as space, dimension, and transformation.

    — jlsmith · Jul 24, 05:44 PM

  4. It’s a shame the folks who decided to build this site couldn’t use more screen real estate to deliver a better communication experience. I haven’t any idea what any of this really looks like. It’s like painting a mural on a postage stamp. Very disappointing. Maybe hire the interactive design winner for next year’s site.

    — David Green · Jul 28, 10:36 AM

  5. This page leaves me wanting to discover more about the HOOD design. It’s a shame like David Green had posted above, that there wasn’t enough detail put onto this page.

    — Luis · Sep 21, 05:33 PM

  6. This is absurd. How about plain speaking instead of purposeful obfuscation. I think the blurb means he designs appropriately to place in its broadest sense (location, culture, history, etc.) and use. This academic flimflam is pretentious self-indulgence. And, I agree, the images are too small.

    — J Golden · Oct 30, 10:30 PM

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HOOD Design

Hood Design was established by Walter Hood in 1992, in Oakland, Calif. The firm is committed to issues that address the re-construction of urban landscapes within towns and cities. Hood Design’s approach is multi-dimensional, exploring the role of specific landscape typologies and topologies that together reinforce and re-make landscapes that are specific to place and people. Hood is a professor and former chair of the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program at the University of California, Berkeley. His area of teaching and research, American urban landscape history and design, is intertwined with office practice creating a didactic approach to projects. Hood’s projects include the landscape for the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco and Poplar Street, a green boulevard in the heart of downtown Macon, Ga.