The art of education promises an awakening and/or reinterpretation of ones thought process. The work of Jack Travis’ career over the last 25 years has focused attention on the lack of awareness of Blacks in the profession. His teaching methods for “inclusion without reverse exclusion” of this information has drawn praise and recognition worldwide.
Mr. Travis lives and works in the black communities of Harlem and the South Bronx of New York City. He is a current member of Harlem’s Community Board 10, serving on the sub-committee of Planning and Land-Use and has been involved in more than a dozen mentorship programs.
Jack Travis established his namesake design studio in June, 1985. Since that time Jack Travis, FAIA NOMAC has completed proposals or has been involved in over 100 projects of varying scope and size. To date the firm has completed several residential interiors projects for such notable clients as Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes and John Saunders of ABC sports. Commercial and/or retail interiors clients have included: Giorgio Armani SPA, Cashmere Cashmere of New York as well as the Sbarro family of the famed pizza parlors.
Mr. Travis encourages investigation into Black history where appropriate and includes forms, motifs, materials and colors that reflect this heritage in his work. Travel throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean to West and South African countries has given Mr. Travis a most unique focus. Through his work, he continues to make a distinctive and definitive enrichment to the existing American design vocabulary. Mr. Travis’ interests have broaden in recent years to include design issues not only concerning cultural content but sustainability in environmental design as well as alternative educational practices that seek to insure the entrance of more students of color into the profession.
In 1992, Travis edited, African American Architects: In Current Practice the first publication to profile the work of black architects in the United States.
In 1977 he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Arizona State University and in 1978 a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
In 2004, Jack Travis received his “Fellowship” in the AIA, and in 2006 Mr. Travis was inducted into the Council of Elders” of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), the highest honor that each organization bestows upon its individual members.
Published in over 100 articles, in magazines, newspapers and books, Mr. Travis has written articles in several publications himself. Having been on T.V. several times both in the US and abroad, on such programs as Building Sites USA (BBC, London), STYLE with ELSA KLINCH (CNN USA) as well as other news, cultural, design and ethnocentric programs, Mr. Travis’ message is consistent and direct. His triumvirated educational effort includes:
A. Formal academic professorship at Parsons School of Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) and Pratt Institute (all of New York City as studio and thesis instructor in the schools or departments of interior design,
B. Informal design studio instructorship in his not-for-profit academy, the Studio for Africulturalism in Architecture&Design (specifically targeting Blacks and Hispanic students interested in architecture),
C. Private practice where his efforts inform fellow practioners, clients and others as to the importance of cultural awareness in the creation of places, spaces and the forms, motifs that make them.
Highlights of this unique career include:
1. AIA Task Force member, 1994
2. Establishment of the 501 (C) 3 status not-for-profit studio, 1993
3. Publication of the book, African American Architects: In Current Practice, Princeton Architectural Press, 1991
4. Building Sites documentary (BBC London)
5. Moderator for Student Day NOMA Conventions 1997,1998, 1999, 2000
6. AIA nac-q article, Spring 2003 edition highlighting the 10 most important events in the history of Blacks in Architecture
7. Participation in the first 3 AIA diversity conferences
8. Recipient of several awards and grants for continued research including:
9. Obtaining of the exhibit, Black Architects, compiled by Vinson McKenzie, 1999 (for revamping, cataloguing and exhibit)
10. Mentorship of primary, secondary and post graduate youth