September 15, 2022

Walter Hood: 2022–23 Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Hood Design Studio, John Robinson Jr Town Square, Arlington, VA. Photo: David Ross Photography.

Hood Design Studio, Firestation #35 BOW, San Francisco, CA. Photo: Hood Design Studio.

Hood Design Studio, de Young Museum Gardens, San Francisco, CA. Photo: Steve Proehl & Felix Rigau.

Hood Design Studio, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA. Photo: Tim Griffith Photography.

Hood Design Studio, Santa Monica + The Crying Rock, Santa Monica, CA. Photo: LA Metro.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) welcomes Walter Hood as the 2022–23 Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Walter Hood (MFA 2013) is the creative director and founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California. Hood Design Studio is a cultural practice that works across art, fabrication, design, landscape, research, and urbanism. He is also professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley. He lectures on and exhibits professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. He was recently the Spring 2020 Diana Balmori Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and the Spring 2021 Senior Loeb Scholar for the Harvard GSD Loeb Fellowship.

Hood creates urban spaces that resonate with and enrich the lives of current residents while also honoring communal histories. He melds architectural and fine arts expertise with a commitment to designing ecologically sustainable public spaces that empower marginalized communities. Over his career, he has transformed traffic islands, vacant lots, and freeway underpasses into 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.

The Studio’s award-winning work has been featured in publications including Dwell, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, Architectural Digest, Places Journal, and Landscape Architecture Magazine. Hood is also a recipient of the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, 2019 Knight Foundation Public Spaces Fellowship, 2019 MacArthur Fellowship, 2019 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and most recently, the 2021 United States Artists Fellowship. Hood is a fellow at the American Academy in Rome and one of the 2021 elected members of the Academy of Arts and Letters. Hood Design Studio has also been featured in the 2021 AD100 list.

As SAIC’s 2022–23 Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor, Hood will present a free public lecture through SAIC’s Visiting Artists Program on September 20 at 6pm CT. Details may be found by visiting In addition, this fall Hood will be engaging with Professor Mary Jane Jacob’s Advanced Curatorial Practice course followed in the spring by a community project-based course with Director of Civic Engagement Jaclyn Jacunski at SAIC’s campus at Homan Square.

Established in 2006 by a generous gift from Bill and Stephanie Sick of Winnetka, Illinois, the Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professorship enables internationally renowned artists and designers to visit and teach at SAIC. Previous Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professors include Bruce Mau, Jaume Plensa, Bill Fontana, Catherine Opie, Andrea Zittel, Theaster Gates, Chris Ware, Ann Hamilton, Laura Owens, Amanda Williams, Nayland Blake, Ebony G. Patterson, and most recently, Shirin Neshat.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alums and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman. For more information, please visit

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