Posts tagged with "Walter Hood":

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Walter Hood, Emmanuel Pratt, Mel Chin take home MacArthur Foundation Genius Grants

Yesterday, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the 26 winners of its annual Fellowship program, commonly known as the “Genius” Grant. The “no-strings-attached” $625,000 grant is given to those who exhibit “exceptional originality, insight, and potential” in their creative disciplines. Unlike other fellowships, the recipients do not apply for the grant but are nominated and anonymously selected by a committee of experts from a range of fields.  This year’s fellows include a selection of artists, urban designers, scientists, and musicians, to name a few. Among those selected include landscape and public artist, Walter Hood; urban designer, Emmanuel Pratt; and interdisciplinary artist Mel Chin.  Walter Hood was awarded the grant for creating “ecologically sustainable urban spaces that resonate with and enrich the lives of current residents while honoring communal histories.” He received his MLA and M.Arch from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently the creative director of Oakland-based Hood Design Studio, a social art and design practice he founded in 1992.  Recent projects that illustrate Hood’s interest in the role of sculpture in public space include his plans for Nauck Town Square in Arlington County, Virginia which includes a towering sculpture that spells “Freed” made of replica slave badges. He is also designing the landscaping surrounding the new International African American Museum, and Hood Design has been shortlisted to reimagine the La Brea Tar Pits. Emmanuel Pratt is an urban designer, and cofounder and executive director of the Sweet Water Foundation (SWF). He was offered the award for his integration of “agriculture, education, and design in a resident-driven approach to community development” and “turning neglected urban neighborhoods into places of growth and vitality.” Pratt received a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University after studying architecture at Cornell for his undergraduate degree.  SWF was featured in this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial with the project Re-Rooting + Redux which was inspired by the construction method Chicago’s worker cottages. The installation transforms the structure into a gallery space reflecting on the future of the city’s South Side.  Selected for “harnessing the power of art to raise awareness of social concerns,” artist Mel Chin’s work is often said to defy categorization. Whether it is a public installation, animated films, or sculptural objects, Chin’s work utilizes materiality and place as a way to engage diverse groups of people. Chin is the oldest of the recipients, at 67, and resides in Egypt Township in North Carolina.  Speaking with The New York Times, Chin said, “I don’t want to use the word ‘responsibility’ but this felt like an acknowledgment that maybe after a life’s work, you just need to do more.”  The full list of 2019 fellows is as follows:
Elizabeth Anderson, philosopher; Sujatha Baliga, attorney; Lynda Barry, cartoonist; Mel Chin, artist; Danielle Citron, legal scholar; Lisa Daugaard, criminal justice reformer; Annie Dorsen, theater artist; Andrea Dutton, geochemist; Jeffrey Gibson, visual artist; Mary Halvorson, guitarist; Saidiya Hartman, cultural historian; Walter Hood, landscape and public artist; Stacy Jupiter, marine scientist; Zachary Lippman, plant biologist; Valeria Luiselli, writer; Kelly Lytle Hernández, historian; Sarah Michelson, choreographer; Jeffrey Alan Miller, literary scholar; Jerry X. Mitrovica, geophysicist; Emmanuel Pratt, urban designer; Cameron Rowland, artist; Vanessa Ruta, neuroscientist; Joshua Tenenbaum, cognitive scientist; Jenny Tung, anthropologist; Ocean Vuong, writer; Emily Wilson, classicist.
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Three big-name studios shortlisted for La Brea Tar Pits master plan competition

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) announced yesterday that it would be reimagining its 12-acre campus in Hancock Park in Los Angeles, home to the iconic La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum. To that end, three firms will compete to lead a master planning team that will be responsible for renovating and future-proofing the campus. The NHMLAC first launched the search for a master planner in March of this year, and the three teams have been invited to create conceptual designs for review. The proposals will be unveiled in August of this year and the NHMLAC will take public feedback on each. After internal and public review, the winning team will be announced by the end of the year and will be responsible for leading the master plan team through the public review, planning, and construction phases of the renovation. The shortlisted teams are as follows: Dorte Mandrup is leading one team. While the Copenhagen-based firm's most recently publicized project may be a blockbuster tower in Denmark, the NHMLAC noted in a press release that the firm has worked on five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the past, including several museums and libraries. The Dorte Mandrup team includes the London-based landscape architecture firm Martha Schwartz Partners, design firm Kontrapunkt, L.A.-based executive architects Gruen Associates, and Arup. The WEISS/MANFREDI team was singled out for its experience in designing large landscapes that invite public interaction, from Hunters Point South in Queens, to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, to the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. WEISS/MANFREDI’s collaborators are notably distinct in focus from the other teams: paleobotanist Dr. Carole Gee, graphic designer Michael Bierut, artist Mark Dion, and Karin Fong, renowned storytelling designer and cofounder of Imaginary Forces, were all tapped. Rounding out the three finalists is the team led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). DS+R is no stranger to realizing large park projects either, and its Broad Museum project previously won the firm critical accolades in L.A. The DS+R team consists of the California-based landscape studio Rana Creek, and landscape architect, urbanist, and Hood Design Studio founder Walter Hood. Whoever wins will have to balance the preservation of a unique paleontological resource with improving the flow and visitor capacity of the park campus. “La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum are the only facilities of their kind in the world,” said Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of the NHMLAC, “an active, internationally renowned site of paleontological research in the heart of a great city, and a museum that both supports the scientists’ work and helps interpret it for more than 400,000 visitors a year. We are excited to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not just renovate these facilities thoroughly but also to think deeply about how to make them function as well for neighbors and guests over the next 40 years as they have for the last 40—perhaps, even better.”
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Harvard's GSD launches platform to feature work of black designers

Harvard's Graduate School of Design (GSD) has launched a new platform to counteract the pervasive and enduring impact of racism that disproportionately affects black designers. The African American Design Nexus brings together the work of black architects and landscape architects from the past and present on the same website to explore their practices and provoke change within design institutions. That change is sorely needed. Only 2 percent of the nearly 110,000 licensed architects are black, while in landscape architecture, just 0.3 percent of licensed practitioners are black. For context, 2017 U.S. Census data estimates that people who identify as black or African American compose 13.4 percent of the country's population. Among the Design Nexus profiles is Hood Design Studio founder (and GSD alumnus) Walter Hood; Studio And founder and Columbia GSAPP professor Mabel O. Wilson; FAD Studio founder, professor, and textile engineer Felecia Davis; and Paul Revere Williams, the midcentury L.A. architect whose stylistically diverse work gained posthumous recognition. The Design Nexus grew from the leadership of Dana McKinney, president of the GSD’s African American Student Union and one of the principal organizers of the school's first Black in Design conference. McKinney and her peers generated a list of 2,000 African and African American designers, and from this list, an initial 50 designer profiles were created for the Design Nexus website by the student union and by the Frances Loeb Library. While there are fewer than 50 pages up now, more will be added over the summer. The project follows in the footsteps of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation's directory of women in architecture, which seeks to boost the visibility of women designers.
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Jury is announced for Adelaide Contemporary museum competition

The Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition has announced the jury members selected to judge the competition, which will commission a new contemporary art museum and public sculpture park dedicated to Australian, Aboriginal, Asian and European art in Adelaide, Australia. Last December, the shortlisted firms were announced, and among the 13 firms grouped into six teams were Adjaye Associates, SO-IL and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, along with Australia-based firms BVN, Hassell, Woods Bagot and Durbach Block Jaggers. The nine-person jury is comprised of leaders in the arts, architecture, culture and business, including Walter Hood and Toshiko Mori. The competition jury will be chaired by Michael Lynch and advised by the competition director, Malcolm Reading. The full jury is below:
  • Michael Lynch AO CBE (Chair), Chair, Sydney Community Foundation and Chair, Circa
  • Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin, Deputy Chair, Australia Council for the Arts, Managing Director, L-AB & Associates and Executive, Aboriginal Strategy, South Australian Film Corporation
  • Beatrice Galilee, Associate Curator of Architecture and Design, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Walter Hood, Creative Director and Founder, Hood Design Studio
  • David Knox, Deputy Chair, Economic Development Board of South Australia and Member, Adelaide Botanic Gardens Foundation Committee
  • Nick Mitzevich, Director, Art Gallery of South Australia
  • Toshiko Mori, Founder and Principal, Toshiko Mori Architect and Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design
  • Sally Smart, Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne and renowned contemporary artist
  • Tracey Whiting, Chair, Art Gallery of South Australia Board

In eleven weeks, the six teams will present their conceptual designs, with an honorarium of approximately $72,000 dollars (AU $90,000) to complete this stage. In April, these designs will be shown to the public at an exhibition in Adelaide as well as online. Details about that exhibition will be released then. The jury will decide upon the winner in May and the winners will be announced by mid-June of this year. Further updates to the competition can be found at the competition's website.

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The Broad-adjacent Otium opens with Damien Hirst on the menu

Otium, the restaurant tucked in The Broad’s Barouni olive-treed, 24,000-square-foot public plaza, quietly opened last week in Downtown Los Angeles. The sum of chef Otium Timothy Hollingsworth and restaurateur Bill Chait, a lot is riding on the eatery to enliven Grand Avenue and the Diller Scofidio + Renfro / Walter Hood pocket park. Designed by Studio UNTLD and House of Honey with building architect Osvaldo Maiozzi, Otium is a boxy, steel-and-wood-clad structure that owes more architecturally to midcentury mods like Craig Ellwood or Ray Kappe than to DS+R’s museum. The traditional California burring inside and outside drive the glazed walls and expansive patio seating. Farm-to-table ethos clearly is behind vertical gardens from Green City Farms on the restaurant’s rooftop that are ready to provide the chef with herbs, vegetables and edible flowers. Inside the box is a large dining room and open kitchen. Windows look west over Hope Street, a view rarely emphasized up on Bunker Hill. According to the press release, the designers were tasked to compliment Hollingsworth with “sophisticated rusticity,” a phrase that looks good on paper, but jams in the mouth creating a lisp-like noise that is neither. A bounty of natural materials are plentiful: steel, glass, wood, copper, stone, nubby textiles, and ceramics. Or, as the PR explains: “The design is an artful mix of old and new, honest, and refined, that echoes the menu’s offerings.” To link the restaurant to the museum, there’s an exterior mural in the works by artist Damien Hirst. Installed on the south facade and entitled Isolated Elements, 2015, it is an approximately 32-foot high by 84-foot long large-scale photograph based on his 1991 sculpture Isolated Elements Swimming in the Same Direction for the Purpose of Understanding, aka the shark in a tank of formaldehyde. It’s unclear if carnivorous seafood is on the menu.