Walter Hood (University of Cal, Berkeley and Principal of Hood Design) was recently at Pennsylvania State University for a five day design workshop. While I did not personally participate in the design workshop, I did have the great opportunity to have lunch with Dr. Hood to discuss his ideas of design development in the field of landscape architecture. If the idea is to progress with our designs, Walter emphasizes a change in the design process. Particularly working in the urban environment, Dr. Hood focuses on making sites (of seemingly all scales) reflect the natural processes of reference landscapes (of the same scales) of the region. Relating design approaches to patterns found in nature is unbiased toward different demographic groups and community members, and the resulting designed landscapes may easily adapt and evolve with different site users. His principles parallel with the theories of urban ecology and his firm has done work all over the nation.
Above is a recent lecture (not from PSU) given by Walter Hood. Check out some of his work at www.wjhooddesign.com