League Prize winner


Dept. | Prairie Plots, Houston, TX, 2022. Image courtesy Dept.

The League Prize is an annual competition that has been organized by The Architectural League since 1981. Open to designers ten years or less out of school, it draws entrants from around North America.

Isaac Stein and Maggie Tsang of Dept. won a 2022 award.

Founded in 2019 by Isaac Stein and Maggie Tsang, Dept. is a landscape architecture and urban design studio based in Houston, Texas. The practice operates at a wide range of intersecting scales, from temporary site-specific installations to urban-scale masterplans. Through careful research into each project’s web of social and ecological contexts, Dept. aims to produce “creative, useful, and adaptive design responses for the public and the environment,” according to its website.

Recent projects include:

  • Prairie Plots, a living installation that replaces approximately 10,000 square feet of mowed lawn in Houston with native prairie species;
  • Good Neighbor Stormwater Park, a community park that transforms a vacant property into a local stormwater-retention basin in a flood-prone neighborhood in North Miami;
  • Repetitive Loss Plan, a citywide plan that re-envisions North Miami’s flood-prone residential properties as a network of small stormwater retention parks.

Isaac Stein holds master’s degrees in landscape architecture and design studies in risk and resilience from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a BArch from the University of Miami. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Climate Action Committee.

Maggie Tsang holds an MArch from the Yale School of Architecture, a master’s degree in design studies in urbanism, landscape, and ecology from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and a BA in architecture from Yale College. She is a 2021–2023 Wortham Fellow at the Rice School of Architecture.

Dept. has received several awards and recognitions, including a Florida Gold Coast American Planning Association Innovation Award and a Fast Company Innovation by Design Award. Its work has been exhibited at the Museum of Design Atlanta and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

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