Talk Design


Christopher Travis

Christopher K. Travis is the founder and lead designer for Truehome Design.Build. He designed and built a broad variety of residential and historic projects in Texas from 1995 to 2014, including high-end new homes, ranches and estates, major remodeling, historic restoration and adaptive re-use of historic structures, historic and light commercial projects.

From 1995 until 2013, Travis was the founder, lead designer and Managing Partner of Sentient Architecture, LLC, (Formerly Round Top Architecture). He partnered with commercial architect, Robert Brett Pitt, in that enterprise serving the rural areas of South Central Texas and the Austin, Texas environs. In 2013, the partners formed individual enterprises and Travis moved his design practice into Truehome Design.Build.

Travis is an expert on the adaptive re-use of period materials and artifacts, as well as human factors based architectural programming for residential projects. He is the author of the Truehome Workshop and the originator of that systematic process which he has used with clients for over eighteen years.

One of his projects was awarded a T. C. Jester award for excellence in historic design in the historic Houston Heights. Mr. Travis’ company was named Remodeler of the Year by the Greater Houston Builder’s Association. He is also an expert on designing and building projects on remote sites and in rural areas.

His projects have appeared in the New York TimesBuilder magazine, Country LivingCowboys and IndiansHome CompanionSun Coast MagazineGo Magazine (Airtran Airways flight magazine), Hommes Magazine in Greece; the San Antonio Express News, the Marin County Independent Journal, The Providence Sunday Journal, in Texas Highways and before employee groups at Microsoft and Google. Major stories on his approach have appeared twice in German publications and in the Netherlands and Australia.

Mr. Travis is also a writer and theorist who has a multi-disciplinary interest in how psychological techniques, and human factors findings, can be applied to architecture and residential design to more effectively create homes and living environments that “fit the psychological nature of people” .He studies and applies the possibility of therapeutic architecture in his design practice. It is this long term study that inspired both the last twenty years of his design practice and the Truehome Workshop. He believes the psychological and emotional needs of the inhabitants of a home should guide the work of designers, and has used his systematic method for that purpose with his clients since 1998, and exclusively since 2002.

More Episodes


Johannes Wortmann

I was born as the 3rd child of an Artist Painter in northern Germany. In 1960, when I was 5, my father escaped with his family from the melancholic teutonic grey to the brilliant light of the Mediterranean island Ibiza, “Eivissa” in Catalan. For the first time, I saw the white cubes of the peasant houses, built by their inhabitants with simple means and following a Phenician pattern. I felt fascinated and attracted by the Mediterranean architecture, please mastery into the landscape of rocks and Pine trees.As a young boy, I was playing and drawing in the studio of Erwin Broner, a German Jew, Artist Painter, and Architect, who had known Ibiza during his first exile in the late 1930ies. After a long journey of almost 17 years, first to London and later to California, he turned back to his beloved mythic Island in 1957. In the following 20 years, Broner designed a series of contemporary houses for international clients. Conceived in the tradition of European rationalism, the uncompromising buildings yet merge at perfection with the Mediterranean landscape. Nowadays, to live in a Broner-House is still considered a privilege.Another famous Master Architect, Barcelona born Josep Lluis Sert, Dean of the Harvard Graduate Design School from 1953 to 1969, turned back to Ibiza in 1970. As did Broner, his first act in the Island was to build his own studio house, situated in the historic “Dalt Vila” District. Sert and my father have been known each other. During five years, he lived and painted in the Sert Studio, before the family settled in the “Can Pep Simó” condominium, a design from Sert and other Catalán architects friends.Born and educated in a medieval town in Westphalia, I undertook my architectural studies at the Technical University of Berlin. Once finished my career, I undertook a useful journey through Europe, serving as an architectural apprentice in several studios in Belgium and Spain. I was happy to learn with the renaissance like Master architect Bruno Albert in Liège, where I learned that beauty and proportions are our finest tools. My first professional steps in Barcelona a link to the PSP Studio. Ferran de los Santos and Joan Maria Pascual were so patient to explain the secrets of Catalán craftsmanship to the young German architect.The next steps were the association with Guillermo Bañares, a practice, which lasted 20 years. I own Guillermo the knowledge of Spanish society and uncountable conversations about architecture and design, scouting together our projects, a broad range of residential, hospitality, corporate and industrial buildings.Finally, at the beginning of the severe financial and Economic crisis, in 2007 I created my own practice, Wortmann Architects.Although I consider myself, aware of my German roots, as a “Mediterranean Prussian”, I feel at home under the Mediterranean sun in the ancient “Marca Hispanica” of Catalonia. Since more than 30 years, I enjoy living and working as an Architect, with my family, in Barcelona.

Chris Fogarty

Chris has always soughtto make the urban environment a richer place through his architecture and interiors practice.Chris studied at University College’s Bartlett in London. From there he received a Master’s in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh and went on to work for Skidmore Owings and Merrill Architects, better known as SOM, in the London, Washington DC, and New York offices. Chris soon set his sights on opening his own practice, Fogarty Finger, in 2003 with just two employees.In the nearly 20 years since, Chris’s firm has flourished, playing a pioneering role in the multifamily housing realm, joining forces with the Interiors Division to create top-to-bottom residential and commercial transformations, and recently expanding into the Boston and Atlanta markets, while counting a total of 127 diverse employees among its ranks.Two of the firm’s major projects—141 Willoughby, an office tower in downtown Brooklyn, and Astoria West, the largest residential development ever built along Astoria’s burgeoning waterfront, both topped out in recent months. While construction is underway on The Nova, a striking residential tower in Long Island City completing in September. Meanwhile, The Lively, which adds 180 luxury residential units to Jersey City’s growing downtown district, as well as ground-level commercial space and a new performing arts center, nabbed an AIA NJ award for its impressive design.Earlier in 2021, The Dime, a live-work-play building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn opened its doors. And on the boards, in the borough’s Gowanus neighborhood, are projects, including the 600,000-square-foot building at 300 Nevins, that reflect the new zoning legislation that recently occurred in the city. Collectively, these projects capture Fogarty Finger’s dominance in the outer-boroughs of New York Cityas an architecture and interior design firm shaping the cityscape.