Talk Design


Paula Baker-Laporte

Paula Baker-Laporte FAIA, BBNC, BBEC is an architect, Building Biologist, author, healthy building consultant and educator.  Graduating from the University of Toronto School of Architecture in 1978 and from the Institute of Building Biology and Ecology in 1994. She founded her own award-winning architectural practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1986-2009. She was honored for her work in healthy architecture and made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2007. She is currently the president of EcoNest Architecture Inc. based in Ashland Oregon est. 2010.

Paula's first-hand experience with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in the 1980’s was the impetus behind her search for healthier ways to build that has resulted in her unique architectural practice with a specialty in construction for health based on the principles of Building Biology. She has designed, specified and administered the construction of many projects for the sublimely sensitive and has worked in various alternative building envelop systems including, light straw clay, adobe, pumice-crete, rammed earth, Aerated Autoclaved Concrete,and Wood Insulated Concrete Forms

In addition Paula and her team consult widely, throughout North America and beyond, working with Owners, Architects and Builders to achieve construction that is optimal for health.

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Janine De Waal

Janine is an internationally experienced architect. Working in remote locations is her forte. After having lived + worked in the UK, Namibia, Australia, Zambia and the Bahamas over the last two decades, she’s now often found in her soul home, Southern Africa.Sixty-one weeks into her architectural education Janine nearly quit her studies. Thank heavens she was assigned to evaluate the finest architect home in South Africa. Gawie Fagan conceived the design for his family home during a flight and drew it on the back of a cigarette box, thereafter he built it as an owner/builder. On the spot Janine realised that she had to continue with her studies. When she walked up the suspended timber staircase, connecting the public spaces to the private bedrooms, she got butterflies… she had never experienced such a beautiful undulating ceiling moulding space and framing views... From that moment onwards she dedicated her life to creating incredible spaces to touch the soul and take the breath away.With her mom being an art teacher and her dad an avid part-time woodworker and owner/builder, design and creating was a part of everyday life. At the age of ten, Janine opted for woodwork instead of needlework. In later years she dabbled in jewellery design, ceramics and bronze casting, resulting in her built environment designs being complemented by bespoke, handcrafted components.She believes that your home symbolizes the life you want to be living. Her designs are shelters for your physical body, mind and soul.

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 Texasfrom 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.Travisis 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 namedRemodeler of the Yearby 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 theNew York Times,Buildermagazine,Country Living,Cowboys and Indians,Home Companion,Sun Coast Magazine,Go Magazine(Airtran Airways flight magazine),HommesMagazine in Greece; theSan Antonio Express News, theMarin County Independent Journal, TheProvidence Sunday Journal, inTexas Highwaysand before employee groups atMicrosoftandGoogle. 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 amulti-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 hissystematic method for that purpose with his clients since 1998, and exclusively since 2002.