A Design Observer Conference

Ron Finley


Ron Finley is a creative phenomenon: a gangsta horticulturalist, with a strong vision for community gardening and the eventual creation of "A school of nourishment and change". Most widely known as the “Gangsta Gardener” he has also been nicknamed the “Renegade Gardener” and the “Guerilla Gardener” because he planted organic vegetables in the parkway in front of his South Los Angeles home and a revolution was started. Ron’s belief that gardens build communities has blossomed into a quest to change how we eat.

A man of many interests, Ron’s career started in his family garage where he built a clothing company, DROPDEAD Collexion. The line was a top seller with high-end retailers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Sacks Fifth Avenue.

Ron’s passion for the arts is also reflected through his expansive collection of Black entertainment memorabilia, an exhibit titled Ron Finley’s Travels Through Blackness.

Based in LA, Ron’s vision is one of transformation through art. Today, when Ron isn’t in the garden, he’s busy working on the Ron Finley Project, his organization that is dedicated to changing culture and the composition of the soil in communities around the world.