September 17, 2014

A Future Practice: Bialosky + Partners Lead Sessions at the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention!

AIA Ohio Convention 2014 Bialosky + Partners Architects

AIA Ohio Convention 2014 Bialosky + Partners Architects

This week, Bialosky + Partners Architects will lead sessions at the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention, in Kent, OH that tackle the theme of "A Future Practice".  Senior and Managing Principal Jack A. Bialosky, Jr.,  AIA, LEED AP and Principal David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP are  jointly leading two sessions. Thursday’s Session, Action Planning For Firm Development will be facilitated by Jeffery Carmen, Management Consultant to the AEC industry. On Friday, Jack and David, along with Partner Aaron Hill AIA of Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects, and Principal Mike Schuster, FAIA, LEED AP of MSA Architects will be hosting a discussion titled It Takes A Village to Raise A Partner. Finally, Designer and Business Development Director Theodore Ferringer, Assoc. AIA, LEED Assoc., is leading a session on Thursday with designer Michael Christoff, Assoc. AIA, of Vocon and Project Manager Angela Jayjack Assoc. AIA, LEED AP of the General Services Administration, titled Empowering Emerging Professionals & Non-Traditional Practitioners: Lessons Learned  From AIA Cleveland.

We hope to see you there!

See details regarding the convention and the individual sessions below:

About the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention:

AIA Ohio, in collaboration with host chapters AIA Eastern Ohio and AIA Akron will be hosting the 2014 AIA Ohio convention at Kent State University on September 18 - 20, 2014. Working together with members of the profession from throughout Ohio, this years convention will be the first time that AIA Ohio has worked to bring its annual convention to the site of one of the states architectural programs.

This years theme, "A Future Practice" focuses on careers, business and practice opportunities for those who are just entering the architectural profession as well as long time practitioners looking for ways to change their existing practices.  Centered out of the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, the convention will focus on the connection of practice to the academy as the profession is redesigned.

Thursday, Sept. 18: 1:00 - 2:15pm at Dix Ballroom, KSU

Action Planning For Firm Development

Too much time spent working in the business and not enough spent on the business can leave a firm stagnant and unable to compete. Generational changes and new technologies are not only changing how we produce architecture, but the business of architecture itself. This session reflects on how leadership can successfully plan for the changing landscape of practice, creating opportunities for innovation and growth, while still getting the job done. This session is primarily focused on mid to large size firms. Jeffery Carmen, Management Consultant to the AEC industry will lead this session, explaining the trends, hurdles, opportunities to both the business and practice of architecture. With over 35 years of experience, Carmen has helped many define and achieve success on their terms. With a belief that "industry standard metrics" perpetuate mediocrity, Jeffrey will explain how to plan for action without falling into usual solutions. Joining Jeffery will be Bialosky + Partners Architects Managing Principal, Jack Bialosky, Jr., and the firm's youngest Principal, David W. Craun. They will share BPA's recent Action Planning strategy which has transformed such things as work environment, branding and messaging, and young leadership that has pushed the firm to never before seen successes.

Thursday, Sept. 18: 2:30 - 3:45pm at McGilvery Ballroom, KSU

Empowering Emerging Professionals & Non-Traditional Practitioners: Lessons Learned From AIA Cleveland

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Organizations throughout the county are evaluating how they engage the generations they serve. With an average member age of 50 and 40% of members retiring in the next 10 years, AIA is at a particularly sensitive and exciting time as it evaluates its relationship with Emerging Professionals (EP) and those on non-traditional career paths. In response to this context, AIA is proactively responding to evolving membership needs through the Repositioning Initiative. This session will showcase engagement and programming lessons learned by the AIA Cleveland Associates Committee; a committee organized by a series of Associate Directors who recognized the importance of engaging EP's and non-traditional career path professionals in the organization. This panel will engage the audience in discussing: How can EP's and associates become valuable resources for AIA as outreach into the community, positioning components as leaders within the community? How can increased EP and associate participation help address the diversity gap found in most chapters? What value does AIA participation by EP's and associates have for firms? We shall discuss these questions and more in this moderated panel discussion, sharing the replicable model that AIA Cleveland has recently developed to engage and empower EP and associate members.

Friday, Sept. 19: 9:00am - 10:15am at McGilvery Ballroom, KSU 

It Takes A Village To Raise A Partner

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A roundtable discussion will allow participants to examine the road to Partnership as one that requires equal ownership of the process by both older and newer leaders of the firm. This model of shared ownership asks experienced Partners to strategize in growing and harvesting the next generation of leadership together with future firm leaders. A culture of empowerment and self-driven responsibility proves to be the soil for emerging practitioners (EPs) to not only bloom, but to take roots in the firm. From the EP side, the session explores how to emerge as a partner in a fashion that fits him/her personally. Managing Partner of Bialosky + Partners Architects, Jack A. Bialosky, Jr, AIA, LEED AP, will host this roundtable with David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP, who made history when he earned the first intern-to-partner promotion in the firm. Mike Schuster, FAIA, LEED AP, Founding Principal of MSA Architects and AIA Ohio Immediate Past President and Aaron Hill, AIA, Partner at Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects and AIA Cleveland President-Elect will join other architects at various career milestones from around the state to join the discussion.

January 14, 2014

Theory and Practice

In addition to being a firm that has taken on many higher-education projects (e.g. LCCCKSU CAED, Muskingum, Ursuline), Bialosky + Partners Architects (BPA) has always been a supporter of academia.  For years, the office has - when possible - encouraged employees to teach part time at the Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design.  BPA staff has taught courses ranging from architectural /interior design studios to materials and process in digital fabrication classes.  Nearly every semester, Kent State CAED professors invite designers of all trades and career-levels from our office to participate in architectural and interior design reviews throughout the year.  This continued engagement with the academic design process is as meaningful for our staff as it is for the students with whom we engage. The designers and architects in our office have had an impact on the program - for example: BPA Associate Matt MacRaild, AIA, who is currently helping Kent State University restructure a Design Process and Principles class.

Jack Bialosky Jr. at a fourth year interior design review.

This past fall I taught my third semester of Interior Design studio at Kent State University. I taught a fourth year interior design studio in conjunction with two other adjunct faculty members, where we guided the students in two projects that involved both architecture and interior design. Having degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design and professional experience in both fields, I often look for projects for the students that incorporate principles from both disciplines. The first project involved a major conversion of an abandoned textile mill to low-rise apartment building located in Mumbai, India. There were two main learning objectives that the students were expected to take away from the project. The first was how to research environment and culture in order to better understand design techniques around the world. The second was the expectation that the students were able to take their findings from that research and apply it to a design project.  The idea for this project stemmed from a research paper I collaborated on at the University of Notre Dame which reported on the condition of the mills in Mumbai, and the following research trip to India where our team spent a month studying the construction, proportion and cultural context of historic structures in India.   It was rewarding to see how the students interpreted physical and cultural context as they prepared their designs for the renovation of the Mumbai mills.

A view of the entry gate to one of the existing textile mill complexes in Mumbai, India.

The second project was a pop-up retail shop located on the lower level of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (aka Detroit-Superior Bridge) in Cleveland, OH.  This group project, inspired by the 2012 Cleveland Design Competition and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s  Bridge Project, was a particularly difficult challenge for the students because of the extremely unique site condition and very minimal pedestrian/vehicular access.  The lower street car level has been abandoned for over 50 years with the exception of a few public events.  The 2012 Competition and Bridge Project were launched in hopes to help repopulate the beautiful structure.  The challenge of the pop-up shop prompted the students to study the history of the bridge, the surrounding context, and pop-up shops precedents in order to determine what use would be the best fit for Cleveland.  As the students began focusing in on the details for their retail spaces, each group also proposed a conceptual master plan for the full bridge with additional activities and shops.  With the location only 35 miles away from campus, we were able to take the students on a field trip to visit the site before the project began.

Students on a site visit of the lower level of the Veteran's Memorial bridge.


Working in groups allowed students to learn the values of teamwork and collaboration.


Students pin-up their work together during a mid-project review.

Not only has it been fun teaching students about design globally and locally, but it has been a valuable experience for me as well.  It’s amazing to see students collaborate on ideas and still be able to receive 34 different solutions for the same design problem.  Teaching a design studio enriches the design process and provides inspiration for projects both academically and in practice.