Water + Air + Citizens Conversation about reshaping soil in Houston: Public Policy, Design Industry, and Art Activism
About the Program
Lawndale invites you to a public conversation with Sallie Alcorn (Houston City Councilmember), Maggie Tsang (2021-2023 Wortham Fellow at Rice School of Architecture, Managing Principal, Co-Founder of Dept.), Isaac Stein (Design Principal and Co-Founder of Dept.), and Cindee Klement (exhibiting artist). Organized by Klement, this conversation will explore Houston’s landscape practices and ecologies. Together, the speakers will consider the diverse ways that Houstonians can positively impact the local environment, looking closely at the design and development of medians, yards, gardens, lots, parks, and blocks.
About the Speakers
Sallie Alcorn, Houston City Council Member-at-Large, District 5
Alcorn works on broad policy issues – city finances, public safety, flood mitigation, transportation, mobility, infrastructure, environment, and parks and greenspace. Through her role as the chair of the Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Committee, she is also heavily engaged in neighborhood issues, zeroing in on improving the noise and animal welfare ordinances this year. In addition, Alcorn initiated Houston’s first composting pilot program.
Maggie Tsang, AIA, Managing Principal, Co-Founder of Dept.
Maggie Tsang is an architect and urbanist. Currently, she is the 2021-2023 Wortham Fellow at Rice School of Architecture. Her teaching and research focus on climate adaptation, floodplain urbanism, community resilience, and the relationship between city and nature. Maggie holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture from Yale University and a Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape, and Ecology from Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Isaac Stein, PLA, RA, ASLA, Design Principal and Co-Founder of Dept.
Isaac Stein is a landscape architect and architect. His hands-on experience with large-scale site contracting, earth work, and utilities coordination gives him a deep understanding of the built environment. Isaac holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami, where he was awarded the AIA Alpha Ro Chi Medal. He also has a Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Design Studies in Risk and Resilience from Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he received the ASLA Certificate of Merit.
Cindee Travis Klement, Exhibiting Artist and Art Activist
Cindeee Travis Klement is inspired by researching natural systems in Texas’ ecological history that build soil health, absorb water, and sequester carbon. Her work reimagines Houston’s landscapes, proposing holistic restoration of ecological balance — awakening urban consciousness of our kinship with living systems and restoring what is lost. Through visual arts and activism, her work incorporates time and movement. Adapting these processes, including organic and living materials, she creates works to inspire urban land conservation and extend our time on this planet. She believes that widespread environmental change begins with envisioning (and making visible) the wisdom inherent in the natural world.