Skip to main content
Environmental Transformation and Care
2023–2024 Public Programs, Fall Edition
Rice University, MD Anderson Hall, Farish Gallery

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Panel 1: Histories

Brittany Utting, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Rice University; Cofounder, HOME-OFFICE
Mary Kuhn, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Virginia
Kathryn E. O’Rourke, Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Trinity University
Kate Thomas, K. Laurence Stapleton Professor of Literatures in English, Bryn Mawr College

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Panel 2: Practices

Mariel Collard, Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute; Founding Principal, Collard Tranquilino
Phoebe Lickwar, Principal of FORGE Landscape Architecture; Associate Professor, University of Texas at
Susana Rojas Saviñón and Hortense Blanchard, Cofounders, Estudio Ome
Jen Toy, Director, Test Plot; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
Garden Ecologies: Environmental Transformation and Care is a two-day symposium hosted by Rice School of Architecture and the John Fairey Garden Conservation Foundation on urban ecology, landscape practice and management, and climate adaptation. The symposium will provide a critical perspective on gardens, not simply as private retreats, but also as trans-scalar spaces that can engage issues of urban expansion, environmental transformation, and climate change. Garden Ecologies will expand on traditional notions of the garden and gardening through three areas of focus: garden history, landscape design practice, and land management. Through these topics, the symposium will reflect on the garden as a test bed for novel ecological entanglements and as a medium for exploring contemporary topics such as settler colonial histories, labor, domesticity, industrialization, ecological conservation and restoration, and models for intervention, stewardship, and practice.
Taking place in the epicenter of the Gulf Coast region—where extraction and ecology collide—this symposium invites discussion from both academia and practice on the garden as a potential space of environmental transformation and care.
The John Fairey Garden Conservation Foundation is an extraordinary garden and cultural landscape featuring a wide variety of plant species collected by John Fairey that are well- adapted to the climate of central Texas and the Gulf Coast. Mr. Fairey, an artist by training, considered the Garden his studio and continually experimented with plants, focusing both on their aesthetic qualities and their adaptability to the climate. He made over 100 botanizing trips to Mexico beginning in 1998, and the Garden is known for its collection of Mexican Oaks and woody lilies collected in Mexico. The garden features more than 3,000 plants (1000 unique taxa) from Mexico, Asia, and the United States. Mr. Fairey also collected Mexican folk art and donated his extensive collection to the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, Texas. For information regarding visitor parking on the Rice campus, please visit Garden Ecologies: Environmental Transformation and Care is organized by Maggie Tsang, assistant professor at Rice University, with Randy Twaddle, executive director at the John Fairey Garden Conservation Foundation in Hempstead, Texas, in partnership with Rice Architecture, Rice Center for Environmental Studies, and Rice Office for Research.

For directions, please visit

This program is made possible through the generous support of the Betty R. and George F. Pierce Jr., FAIA, Fund; the William B. Coleman Jr. Colloquium Fund for Architecture; and the Wm. W. Caudill Lecture Series Fund. Garden Ecologies is supported by the John Fairey Garden, the Rice Center for Environmental Studies, and a Rice Office for Research Subvention Grant.
Apply Featured