Hood Design Studio, Inc. is a social art and design practice founded in 1992 in Oakland, CA.

The studio’s practice is tripartite: art + fabrication, design + landscape, and research + urbanism.
This breadth allows us to understand each place in its scale and context, and to respond, not with a standard design, but with an approach adaptive to the particulars and specifics of a space.

We strengthen endemic patterns and practices both ecological and cultural, contemporary and historic, particularly those that remain unseen or unrecognized. Urban spaces and their objects act as public sculpture, creating new apertures through which to see the emergent beauty, strangeness, and idiosyncrasies around us.



Hood Design’s artistic practice emerges from an interest in the everyday, and through an observation of mundane objects and events in the public realm of daily life. Art forms are gestural, creating meaning through their relation to preexisting patterns and practices. The firm’s work attempts to reveal and activate the benign, looking to existing site elements – the sidewalk, the sign post, the tree canopy, the narrow stream – as infused with emergent beauty, strangeness, subjectivity, and possibility.


Hood Design Studio’s approach to landscape design blurs and complicates standard typologies, acknowledging that sites are understood in multiple and contradictory ways. These understandings push against one another to create fractured spaces that defy typical naming conventions. Linguistic references to different spaces shift as cultural associations with a site develop and transform over time, often in conjunction with changing usage, layering into a complex palimpsest. Hood Design uncovers and responds to these linguistic hybridities, inherent within any landscape, and develop forms that, by rejecting a monolithic strategy, offers a multiplicity of unexpected possibilities while invoking cultural and formal histories.


Hood Design Studio’s approach to urbanism looks to the larger landscape context – woodland, watershed, bay – within which the considered field rests; seeking to reveal the unconscious relationships between the overlapping environments. Concepts and ideas are derived from this hybrid texture of layered meaning and history, and applied across the project scope. Thus the studio manifests a vision that rejects the typical expectations associated with often tired vocabulary, instead forming a series of unanticipated potentials.