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Undocumented Designs

Feb 10, 2021

Introduction and Moderator: Adegboyega Adefope, Adjunct Assistant Professor, NYIT School of Architecture and Design

Lecture: The Role of a Black Architect , Jack Travis, RA, Principal,
Jack Travis Architect
Lecture: Marginalisation and Inclusion, Linda Mvusi, Architect and
Actor, SAIA

Jack Travis Lecture Description
Mr. Travis’ presentation will introduce attendees to his work, present a
concise historical overview of the legacy of Black architects and
designers and showcase a few projects which highlight the methodology
and strategies for environmental design, as well as intervention in
at-risk and communities of color.

Jack Travis Bio
Jack Travis’ career of 40 years has evolved a triumvirate approach of
educating students, practitioners and citizens nationally and
internationally to the legacy of Blacks in Architecture and the defining
of a Black design aesthetic.

Jack Travis established his namesake design studio in June, 1985. 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. Jack Travis is currently an adjunct professor of interior
design at Pratt Institute and at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
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 Jack Travis 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. Mr. Travis is an
NCARB Registered Architect in the state of New York since 1981and an
NCIDQ licensed Interior Designer since 1988. 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.

Linda Mvusi Lecture Description
Drawing upon 41 years of design experience, Ms. Mvusi’s lecture will
focus on where we are and how we move forward without leaving anyone
behind using imminently implementable solutions found at local and
global, micro and macro scales. Issues such as community vs. the
individual, the current poverty industrial complex, climate change and
values ethics will be presented and explored.

Linda Mvusi Bio
Ms Linda Mvusi (65 years) is an award winning architect (Apartheid
Museum, South Africa) and award winning actress (1988 Cannes Film
Festival Best Actress) who holds a B.Sc Design (Hons) 1980 degree and
Frank Lloyd Wright Prize for Best Design from Kwame Nkrumah University
of Science and Technology, and a postgraduate B.Architecture 1984 degree
from UK’s Newcastle-upon-Tyne University.

Ms Mvusi who has been in architectural practice for 41 years - 34 years
of her own architecture & design firm - left South Africa aged 5
years with her family for 32 years of Exile living, schooling and
working in central, west, east and southern Africa, as well as Europe
and USA.

Internationally, her design portfolio consists of a full range of
architecture, urban design, and alongside 5 years film and television
production, distribution and exhibition following the Cannes Film
Festival Best Actress award, includes heritage and culture animation and
project management at scale.

Her first projects were hotels (Pamodzi and Intercontinental, Lusaka,
Zambia), thereafter designing government and corporate offices, schools
and hospitals, laboratories and factories, prisons, interrogation and
high security facilities in central Africa.

Employed by Greater London City Council’s Women’s Design Service 1984-5,
Ms Mvusi designed women’s shelters, libraries, crèches, rape crisis
safe homes, cultural centres for Brixton Black Women and Turkish Women
and also design thinking parks, streets and public transportation for
differently-abled and hitherto marginalised.

Returning to South Africa in 1992, and eschewing private residential
commissions - (President Nelson Mandela’s Houghton Johannesburg house is
her sole exception) - Linda Mvusi focussed on designing ‘space and
place making for Freedom to happen’, beginning in 1992 with 9 Soweto
Railway Stations (1992), followed by architecture and urban design
double commission for Africa’s largest train|multimodal transportation
hub, Johannesburg’s 16 block Park Station (1993- 95).

Urban design projects include Joburg’s inner city Newtown Cultural
Precinct and Tirisano Urban Village now named ‘Brickfields’,
Sandton-Alice Drive Land Assembly for Malaysian clients, and Fort West
Urban Village in Pretoria.