by aliya reich, public programs coordinator

In September, we welcomed Berkeley, California-based landscape architect and public artist Walter Hood, ASLA, to speak as a part of Spotlight on Design, our premier series of talks featuring architects and designers of distinction from around the world. Armed with dozens of beautiful photographs, it became clear that perhaps one of the most striking elements of Hood’s approach is its interdisciplinary spirit. Having earned masters of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of California at Berkeley and a master of fine arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hood’s projects straddle the line between art and architecture while focusing on the emotional and social effect of his places on the people who interact with them.

“I liked the question and answer portion at the end of the lecture because it really helped go deeper into the lecture.”

Spotlight on Design attendee

This emphasis on interdisciplinary spirit was shared by several other of the Museum’s eight Spotlight on Design lecturers in FY13. Jamie Drake, FASID, IIDA, spoke on the intersection of color, design, and architecture; his multi-discipline design firm, Drake Design Associates, offers a variety of services while Drake himself develops products as varied as rugs, fabrics, furniture, and bath faucets.

Antón García-Abril discussed his firm’s use of innovative materials to create unique architectural space. García-Abril’s firm, Ensamble, used physically light materials to create a visually dense space in their project The Cloud and repurposed Madrid’s Old Slaughterhouse as a creative space by integrating new materials into the pre-existent building in the project, The Reader’s House.

By bringing these accomplished designers to a Washington, D.C. audience, the Spotlight series provides a direct and meaningful opportunity to engage with some of the world’s news-making architects, landscape architects, and interior designers.

Learn more about the series and find video of past talks here.


program attendees



Spotlight on Design is sponsored by Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, with additional support from the American Institute of Architects.
Architectural Record is the official media partner of Spotlight on Design.