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Houston Zoo

Texas Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

My children do everyday!



The great designerFlorence Tang is an architectural designer and project manager at the Houston Zoo. She is also a journalist and design activist. She has orchestrated and is a core part of architecture, design-build construction and renovation projects that have garnered local and international press. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Rice Design Alliance. She is a founding member of WIA Houston and AIAH JE:DI Collective, and sits on the national board of AZFA as treasurer-elect. She is a past member of the TxA Design Awards Committee.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

I was 20 when I met an architect as a first gen college kid when I went to a summer studio at Harvard. My family had a corner store in Houston's 3rd Ward for 20 years; when I worked on Project Row Houses as a Rice student, it fueled me for more.

What do you do?

I plan and manage various Capital Expenditure and Centennial projects in-house for the Department of Design and Engineering of the Houston Zoo, a beloved cultural institution and leader among wildlife conservation. I also write about architecture.

What excites you in the work you do?

I believe women are half the sky. Our profession is not the reflection of society that it should be, but I remain undaunted in the work ahead as we fix the leaky pipelines to mentor those who do not look like us -- for us and the next generation.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

My children do everyday!


What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

I have two. (1) When I graduated with a newborn baby. I almost dropped out my second year as I was caring for my terminally ill father. (2) Delivering S. America's Pantanal during a global pandemic and racial reckoning in America.

Featured Project Name: 

South America's Pantanal

Featured Project Location: 

Houston, Texas

Featured Project Completion Date: 

October 2020

Role in Featured Project: 

Project Manager, Houston Zoo Department of Design and Engineering

Featured Project Description:

To build a wild place deep in the heart of Houston’s urban core, this zoological park project embodies a multi-faceted conservation by design story about biodiversity, environmental justice and a complex tropical floodplain ecosystem. This first-of-its-kind zoo exhibit was executed with an architecture that dematerializes into the immersive landscape and supports the highest quality of life for these endangered animals while creating a meaningful experience for guests along this unfolding trail. (Studio Hanson|Roberts and Brave Architecture)

Photography Credit:

Houston Zoo

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