Walter Hood — creative director and founder of Oakland-based Hood Design Studio, delivers a TED talk on landscape architecture that outlines the potential of public spaces in bringing people together and fostering long-standing, supportive communities. The speaker structures his keynote in a very accessible manner as he outlines the five concepts of how good landscape design can contribute to a more functional, thriving and equal society. For each ideation, Walter Hood gives a professional example that is derived from his career.
Firstly, the talk on landscape architecture illuminates the fact that "great things happen when we exist in each other's worlds" — a notion that suggests that working together and supporting each other is the key to a healthy society, with fewer prejudices and injustices. The working example here is the power of community gardens to bring people together in the metropolitan setting. Secondly, Walter Hood speaks of "two-ness." That is, of having two different cultural perspectives, a "double consciousness" that makes you strong, resilient, and informed. The third concept is to be empathetic toward those who have less. During the talk on landscape architecture, Hood gives an example of a park in Oakland, California that was built for the homeless and where communities come together to share not only their space but their individual narratives as well. Fourthly, the fact that "tradition belongs to all of us" and how we, as agents, ought to go about extending it into the world. Finally, Walter Hood advocates the world to be mindful of minorities and treacherous histories. The particular example here is the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina — an area in the U.S., where "the Confederacy is celebrated, probably more than any other city, and you don't have a sense of blackness at all."
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