December 11, 2014

Meet Jon Spring and Julie Whyte

We’re a bit belated in welcoming two new hires to our growing team, Jon Spring and Julie Whyte.

jon spring_BW

Adding Jon Spring (BArch ’10) creates our fifth pair of name duplicates in the office. But seriously, Jon is a double. While he has an identical twin in South Korea, Jon grew up here in America, in McLean, VA which is right outside Washington, DC. He worked there at RUST | ORLING Architecture, on office interior fit-outs and new base-buildings. Now that Jon has taken hold of some of Bialosky + Partners projects, he’s gained a bit of a reputation as one of our speediest CAD drafters. It has led us to believe that, in another life, Jon was a rugged cattle rancher with the quickest draw in the West.

Jon Spring in a previous life. His reputation in the office as one of the speediest draftsmen naturally leads us to believe he was once a quick-drawing cowboy.

Jon Spring in a previous life. His reputation in the office as one of the speediest draftsmen naturally leads us to believe he was once a quick-drawing cowboy.

Trained at Carnegie Mellon, Jon graduated with a five-year Bachelor of Architecture, peppered with semester internships with Burt Hill. He can also add collegiate swimmer to his resume. Jon enjoyed his time as a student in Pittsburgh, and now looks forward to life in Cleveland, residing in the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood.

Jon's answers to some of our favorite get-to-know-you questions:

Your Alternate Reality Career:  Being a roller coaster designer would be awesome and definitely validate the countless hours I spent playing roller coaster tycoon as a kid.

The City You Would Most Like To Visit: Even though I hate crowds, I really want to visit Tokyo someday.

If given a ticket to anywhere, Jon would fly to Tokyo (image from Wikipedia / Cors).

If given a ticket to anywhere, Jon would fly to Tokyo (image from Wikipedia / Cors).

Hidden Talent: I make a pretty good guac, if I do say so.

Favorite Designed Object / Project of 2014 :  The ZEB pilot House by Snohetta.

Your Ideal Dinner With One Architect or Designer:  It’d be fun to talk with James Timberlake at Ikea and over Ikea meatballs, about mass customization of architecture.

Julie Whyte (MArch, MUD ’12) adds great muscle to the firm's urban design chops. Her work ranges all scales and forms - from regional planning to alluring skeletal sculptures. Before joining us at Bialosky + Partners, Julie wrapped up her Post-Graduate Fellowship at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. As this program started with Julie, she was fortunate to mold the position- balancing practice, research, and mentorship to the CUDC's students. As part of the CUDC staff, she worked directly with the residents of 2100 Lakeside Men's Shelter to design and implement a garden in the vacant lot  adjacent to the shelter.

Team Up To Clean Up-2

Julie leading the Team Up to Clean Up event, where the neighborhood was invited to 2100 Lakeside's Men's Shelter for a picnic and a day of volunteerism to make their garden a reality.

It's important to add that Julie is a violinist and pianist, and is in good company with many fellow musicians in our office. We're waiting for the album that features her talents, along with the honorable Bialosky whistling trio. She is quickly approaching her wedding date, where she will assume the surname Roberts, in which case  we'll all have to fight the urge to call her Julia.

We asked Julie the same questions, and actually got one identical answer to Jon's!

Your Alternate Reality Career: A writer/researcher.

The City You Would Most Like To Visit: Tokyo – I have never been to Asia and would love to explore it.

Hidden Talent: Playing piano and dabbling in musical composition.

Favorite Designed Object / Project of 2014: Field Operation’s Urban Metabolism research project [for the 2014 Rotterdam Biennale].

Your Ideal Dinner With One Architect /Designer:  Adriaan Geuze of West 8 Landscape Architects; coffee at an outdoor café in Rotterdam; I would pick his brain about the design culture of Northern Europe and his Borneo-Sporenburg project.

Bonus: Your Ideal Dinner With One Non-Architect /Designer: I would have chianti with Ludovico Einaudi at the Piazza della Santa Croce in Florence. I would ask him about his process for composing music and we’d discuss how this process compares to the design process.

A beautiful setting for Julie to share a glass of wine with composer

A beautiful setting for Julie to share a glass of wine with composer Ludovico Einaudi.

October 1, 2014

Meet Sai Sinbondit

If there is such a thing as the most interesting man in the world, Sai Sinbondit deserves serious consideration. A graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture (MArch ’07) and the University of Toledo with honors in Painting and Printmaking (BFA ’04), Sai is the rare designer with a technical fine arts training. Sai's childhood experiences and background in art deeply influence his design sensibilities.


Drawing by Sai Sinbondit from "Between Thoughts… Notes on an Architecture of Development: Sai Sinbondit at William Busta Gallery, Jan 4-Feb 9 2013".[flickrvideo]

Born in Thailand, Sai emigrated with his family to the United States as a young child. After settling in a Mennonite community in Northwest Ohio, he proceeded to live various states around the county, before eventually returning to Ohio for college.  Additionally, before his art and design career Sai spent extensive time working for humanitarian NGO relief organizations around the world including UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and USAID. Sai’s humanitarian relief work, which inspired him to be a designer, included work in countries such as Turkey, El Salvador, his native Thailand, India, France, Italy, and the Darfur region of what is now South Sudan. Sai's childhood experiences, travels and art background continue to shape his design approach. 

Refugee Camp in Darfur (South Sudan) taken in 2006 by Sai Sinbondit

Untitled ('12) Watercolor by Sai Sinbondit

Watch this video to learn more about Sai's background and design philosophies:


Sai’s work is interested in the relationships between people, culture, systems, technology, and the registration of time. By believing that architecture and art are not removed from politics, but rather are generators of change. Having exhibited nationally in museums and galleries, with numerous art works in private collections, Sai was honored to receive the 2011 Creative Workforce Fellowship form the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. As an Adjunct Professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Sai teaches the next generation of designers and artists to think broader and bolder.

Let’s hear more from Sai:

Favorite building / space / place in Northeast Ohio?

South Bass Island Park

I really enjoy camping, fly fishing and being closing to the Great Lakes. Especially in the fall when the leaves are changing colors and everything is in a state of transition. It’s a very beautiful place and most importantly, quiet.

South Bass Island Beach, Ohio

Hidden Talent:

Kite making & Ice cream making.

I can make really good ice cream. I’m sure it probably has to do something with growing up across the road from a dairy farmer, who in the summer, I would go visit almost every day. Plus, I just enjoy eating it.

Kite making would be my other hidden talent. Not sure where that came from, almost remember making one out of odds and ends that were lying around…such as the doll clothes of my sisters.

Hobbies When You Are Off the Clock:

When possible, I enjoy fly-fishing, drawing and playing soccer. Other than drawing, I enjoy doing anything outside. From fly-fishing, playing soccer to working with Habitat for Humanity.

Your Alternate Reality Career:

Sai's Alternate Career would be being a first line responder to humanitarian crises around the world via the UN's HRD.

United Nations Frontline Responder. Enjoy leveraging my background and design training to help people in need. Also, enjoy being part of a larger conversation with different people, culture, places around the world.

Your Ideal Dinner with One Architect or Designer?

I know we’re supposed to pick one, but since this is ideal and I can’t decide, I’d sit down with both Edward Tufte and Neri Oxman from Mediated Matter at some remote beach in southern Thailand, sharing a large plate of calamari and beer.

The discussion would revolve around ideations, from process to materiality & fabrication technology and their capacities through design to influence social issues, such as globalization, humanitarian relief, customization of mass production, poverty, etc…

An Edward Tufte Classic

Neri Oxman is shown before a prototype for an environmental screen, Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya, work inspired by fractal patterns found in nature. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Bonus: Favorite designed object …let’s say back the beginning of 2013?

Anything that comes out of UNFOLD Design Studio, a small design group out of Oslo, Norway. The critical thinking and process that you can see through the work is wonderful.

Ceramic 3D Printed Objects designed and made by UNFOLD Design Studio

July 14, 2014

Meet Tyler, Jennifer, and Marcela!

Many new faces have joined our office this month. Today, we'll introduce three - all are just starting their careers and just cut loose from school (or wrapping it up). We're pleased to have these talented millennials working alongside us! Meet Tyler Gentry A recent graduate from the University of Cincinnati's DAAP program, Tyler Gentry (BArch '13) joins our office making his Cleveland debut. His hometown is Bellbrook, OH near Dayton. Tyler previously worked for FRCH Design Worldwide, which specializes in retail design and brand implementation. Throughout school, he landed great eye-opening co-ops, such as working alongside UC's University Architect, and teaching a design studio at an inner-city STEM school. The semester challenged engineering students to see everything in our world as a design opportunity. To prove the point, Tyler had a break-dancer visit his class to show that design doesn't just mean buildings, or even objects. Design can have many applications. With a trained design eye and an appetite of a hungry designer, Tyler decided to do something big. It began with a lonely warehouse that needed a lot of tlc. With his church, Missio Dei, Tyler and his team converted a lonely warehouse into an active art studio for church members. He's also done great graphic design work for their sermon series.

An old warehouse has found a new life as a church's gallery / cafe. Tyler helped make this happen in Cincinnati

An old warehouse has found a new life as a church's gallery / cafe. Tyler helped make this happen in Cincinnati.

As a New Clevelander, What Landmark/Sight Are You Most Excited to See? As a new Clevelander, I really don’t know what to go see, so I’m open to suggestions! I’m excited to spend time by the lake, and I think that counts as a landmark. Hidden Talent: Well, I played washboard and mandolin in a bluegrassy folk band for the last couple years before I moved up here. That was very fun.

Tyler on drums in his band "Wretched Redeemed".

Tyler on washboard in the bluegrass band "Wretched Redeemed".

Your Alternate Reality Career: I would have to say I would be a photographer or a musician. Luckily, I can still do both of those things on the side. Your Ideal Dinner With One Architect or Designer: I would say Charles and Ray Eames, in their shop, eating steak, talking about furniture. Bonus: Your Ideal Dinner With One Non-Architect/Designer: C.S. Lewis on a mountaintop, surrounded by forests, talking about life. Still probably with steak. And bacon. Bacon makes everything better. Meet Jennifer Hlavin Fresh out of Bowling Green State University, Jennifer Hlavin (BS in Interior Design '14) applied all over the country before choosing to join us in Cleveland. One of the biggest selling points? The water. With a hometown of Sandusky, OH, Jen has always loved having Lake Erie as a backdrop. She has spent many a beautiful summer working at Cedar Point skillfully adorning visitors with hair-wraps, henna and face paintings. Jen, self-described as a "city person" is living the Live/Work/Play dream, with a three minute walk to work from her new apartment in Shaker Square.


Jen is unpacked and art is on the walls!

We were impressed to learn that as a young designer, Jen has credentials! She is a LEED Green Associate, and is looking to join International Interior Design Association (IIDA). She earned the Green Associate title while still in school, as BGSU has many interesting electives (one that  where she learned all one could ever want to know about textiles). In total, she was trained by just 4 professors, ranging in different cultures and disciplines (such as the arts and architecture). As a New Shaker Square Resident, What Is Your Favorite Weekend Spot? Dewey’s Coffee is by far my favorite spot in Shaker Square. Any place that has coffee, ice cream, and popcorn all at one stop is definitely good in my book. Hidden Talent: My hidden talent would probably be my ridiculously strong sense of smell - I’m basically a blood hound. I'm also a band nerd and was the drum major during high school, I miss it!  


Jen absorbing the applause, applause, applause.

Your Alternate Reality Career: I would want to be an animal conservationist and have a T.V. show where I travel around the world and hang out with cool animals while simultaneously educating people about them. I ultimately just want to hold baby animals all day. Your Ideal Dinner With One Architect or Designer: Philippe Starck is one of my favorite designers and seems like an awesome guy to hang out with. Since he is a Parisian, we would have dinner in Paris followed by cappuccinos and crepes while discussing his vast collection of interior, product, industrial, and architectural design work. Meet Marcela Sandoval Marcela Sandoval joins us for two months on an internship focused on planning. After her time with us in Cleveland, Marcela will return to the coast of South America to complete her Bachelors of Architecture at the University of Northern Chile. The skinny country of Chile sports a coastline the distance between New York and San Diego, and is sprinkled with deserts, mountains, and lush greens. Being able to always see the ocean is something Marcela has come to love about Chile (and all the friendly Chilean people!).

Marcela will journey back to Antofagasta City, Chile to complete her Bachelors.

Marcela will journey back to Antofagasta City, Chile to complete her Bachelors.

Her hometown, though, is San Luis Potosi, Mexico- a central city boasting 1 million inhabitants. One very special district of San Luis she describes is right along the Gulf of Mexico, called La Huasteca. It is filled with falling waters, tropical rainforests (with about 2,000 species of plants) and all kinds of animals. Marcela explains that the downtown is closed off to cars, and she enjoys seeing that kind of planning in cities.

San Luis

San Luis Potosi, Mexico - Marcela's hometown.

As you may guess, Marcela loves traveling and absorbing new cultures, and how those other cultures approach design. She comes to Cleveland to do just that. In her own words "travel is the way in which you can understand the past, present and future; and also is the only way to understand that architecture may be different in distinct places and times, but always has something constant: the pursuit of human welfare as its main objective." Marcela predicts pursuing a Masters after graduation, and a LOT more travel in her life. If she had a golden ticket to go anywhere in the world, Marcela would fly right to China, as she finds their culture very fascinating. One characteristic of San Luis Potosi you would give to Cleveland: In San Luis, there is always music in the streets, with people enjoying it and dancing to it. Hidden Talent: Well I don't know if it's a talent, or if I'm being conceited….. but I think, that I'm a really good shower singer. Your Alternate Reality Career: Well, I declare myself a CHOCOLATE LOVER, I have some kind of addiction for it, so I’m always baking cakes (it’s the only thing that I could bake because I’ve been trying with muffins or cupcakes and …. Well let's say that it’s not my thing. So I choose baker. Your Ideal Dinner With One Architect or Designer: I’m a huge fan of Daniel Libeskind as an Architect, but I choose Michel Rojkind. We probably we could have dinner at the restaurant that he designed: Tori- Tori,  that is so cool that you could spend all the afternoon there feeling like in a bubble. The topic of the conversation…. I think that we discuss his theory of fun and study of a space, because I think that it’s brilliant. Bonus: Your Ideal Dinner With One Non-Architect/Designer: Toshiyuki Inoko, founder of teamLab.  I love what they do, so it would be really interesting.

May 22, 2014

Meet Chelsey Finnimore

Bialosky + Partners Architects welcomes our newest team member, graphic designer and Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) graduate (Communication Design BFA ’13) Chelsey Finnimore. Growing up Chelsey wanted to be a fashion designer, a writer or a detective. Combining her creativity, a passion for communicating, and a strong desire for problem solving, graphic design seemed like an obvious choice. Chelsey’s skill set will come in handy if the office decides well designed private detective work is a lucrative market. At CIA, Chelsey’s Communication Design program included an emphasis in Fiber and Material Studies. This interest in the digital and tactile resulted in developing skills in silk-screening. One such project included a series of “fake products”, like the Apocalypse Survivor Backpack. Backpack contents included tools like bug spray to protect one from giant locusts, and a rope with carabineer set in case of accidental accession. The project was a commentary on the role of technology becoming a hindrance to our survival in times of crisis.

Be Prepared For Anything... With Chelsey Finnimore's Apocalypse Backpack!

Be Prepared For Anything... With Chelsey Finnimore's Apocalypse Backpack!

Chelsey’s favorite professor at CIA was Graphic Design professor, Gene Pawlowski. Chelsey learned from Professor Pawlowski’s “old school” style of teaching typography. He was detailed orientated, pushing his students to be specific and precise in their designs. Chelsey’s favorite class with him was a Hand Made Bookmaking Class. The class included learning and using tons of ancient gadgets for bookmaking. Chelsey is continuously striving to find a legitimate use for the font Adobe Giddy Up in her work. She loves storytelling and believes that great design can be used to tell great stories. Her dream project would be to design a coffee table book of objects organized neatly in rainbow order.

Adobe Giddy Up aka the New Comic Sans.

Prior to joining the team at Bialosky + Partners, Chelsey worked at Agnes Studio where she had interned since 2011. In addition to her work at Agnes, she has worked on freelance projects for Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga Community College, and Reclaimed Cleveland. Chelsey was attracted to the Bialosky team, as many of her favorite projects bridge the gap between the digital realm and the real world as tactile objects. This could be through environmental design or other means, with a particular interest in the ongoing life of projects and materials once the designer’s “scope of services” is complete. She brings value to our team with a multi-disciplinary skill set to engage with print and environmental design in unique ways. A native of Sharon, PA and former elevator operator at The World’s Largest Off-Priced Ladies’ Fashion store. Chelsey spent much of her childhood making “bad” fan websites for her favorite bands. Chelsey currently resides in Lakewood with her two feline roommates, Steve and Trevor. In her free time she enjoys riding bikes, drawing terrible horses, and telling bad jokes. One day she will own a kayak or a hammock to aid in her favorite hobby: marathon weekend napping.

The Winner - A Sharon, PA legend.

We recently sat down with Chelsey to learn a little more:  Favorite designed object / project in the last year (could be a building, piece of graphic design, product design, etc.): I am a huge fan of pretty much anything Vallee Duhamel has produced in the last year—super playful graphic and motion design. I love to see designers bringing in tactile/handmade elements into their work.

Cover art and album design for the album Bellevue, from Montreal electro-jazz band Misteur Valaire.

Hidden talent: Not so much a hidden talent as much as a deep dark secret—I played bass in a sludge metal band called “Lightning Bug Collection” in high school. And I can solve a rubik's cube in a minute and a half. Alternate  Reality Career: A florist or a CIA agent. If You Could Have Dinner With One Architect or Designer, who would it be and where or what would dinner be? Spaghetti with Massimo and Leila Vignelli off of their Heller dinnerware followed by an intense game of Risk and fashion parade of Leila’s jewelry.

Chelsey's table setting for dinner with Massimo and Leila Vignelli would look something like this.

We’re ignorant architects. What is the different between a typeface and a font? The best analogy I’ve ever heard for explaining the difference is that typeface is to song as MP3 is to font. Typeface refers to the design of the letter forms where as font refers to the physical (or digital) means for reproducing a letter. Bonus sub-question: Legendary designer Massimo Vignelli once said a designer should only use 5 typefaces (bodoni, helvetica, times roman, century and futura) in their career. Is he right or crazy? I obviously love Vignelli and think he’s pretty on point with this—while I love playing with new typefaces, I find that most that really stay with me are offshoots of those “classic” five.

December 23, 2013

Meet Heather Ruwe

Heather Ruwe is an interior designer at Bialosky + Partners Architects, Cleveland.

Heather Ruwe has worked in New York, San Francisco and Chicago – and can now add Cleveland to the list! As our newest interior designer, Heather brings a background to the office covering the whole spectrum of interior design, including brand development and on-going client relationships. Already Heather has an incredibly versatile background in interior design: She’s done financial corporations. She’s done high end restaurants. She’s done underwear boutiques. But she speaks most fondly of the client Brown Forman, one of the kings in the wine and spirits business. In its fifth generation, the client worked with Heather when she worked at BHDP to sharpen and envision interiors/branding. All over the occasional lunchtime cocktail, of course! Her breadth of experience began with the University of Cincinnati College of Architecture, Art, and Planning’s  (DAAP) Co-Op program . For those unfamiliar with the DAAP’s School of Architecture and Interior Design, co-ops (aka internships) are built into the program. Coursework and real on-the-job experience alternates on a quarterly basis, which Heather found invaluable. She graduated in 2010 with a BS in Interior Design. While it is a rigorous program (DAAP's ID program recently ranked #1 in the country by DesignIntelligence), she had managed to squeeze in some unique elective courses. Namely, a course centered on tea and its origins and place in culture – taught by just the sort of instructor you would expect by a small, petite women who loved floral prints and all things British culture - basically the whole nine yards! A Stow native, Heather now lives in Lakewood with her husband, who is in the medical field. We asked her a few extra questions that we think you’ll enjoy. She’s given them quite some thought. Favorite Designed Object of 2013: Kinematics, Nervous System’s 4D Printed Jewelry.

Nervous System's Kinematics project is an example of luxurious 4D printing- and Heather's favorite designed object to come out of 2013.


I think the progress that has been made over the past few years with 3D printing is incredible and to see that they have come up with a way to 3D print flexible structures is amazing. The forms that Nervous System has created are really unique and actually pretty wearable.  Hidden Talent: I’m an Organizational Mastermind. I am way too organized for my own good. I have a place for everything and can fit more items into a closet or a suitcase than you probably should. Because of this, I tend to be a little over prepared for any situation, hence earning me the nickname Studio Mom in design school.  Your Alternate Reality Career: Jimmy Fallon’s Puppy Keeper.

"Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon interviews the winning New England Patriots puppy - in a parallel universe, Heather would care for the other 31 pups backstage. (from

If you have never watched Late Night with Jimmy Fallon before, you probably don’t know that he has a segment on his show called Puppies Predict where he puts out multiple bowls of dog food with Oscar nominees, sports teams, presidential candidates, etc. names on the bowls and then sends out multiple golden retriever puppies to see which bowl of dog food they will choose, therefore predicting who will win the game, race, etc. I think Jimmy Fallon is hilarious and I have a soft spot for golden retriever puppies so I love this segment and have decided that if I could, I would be the keeper of the puppies. Someone has to take care of them when they are on the set, right?!  Your Ideal Dinner With One Architect or Designer: Kristina O’Neal from AvroKO.

W Bangkok – the Kitchen Table by AvroKO and SODA. Ideally, Heather would meet Kristina O'Neal here for a dinner with some razzle-dazzle. (

They focus mainly on restaurant and hospitality work but the way they are able to take a concept and fully integrate it into a restaurant design down to the glassware and packaging is spectacular. You can walk into any of their spaces and easily understand the vision behind it. They have an office in Bangkok so we would go to one of the restaurants they designed there. I would want to ask her about where they pull inspiration from for their projects and their design process. I would also love to know more about the evolution of their company and how it has gone from an architecture and interiors firm to developing furniture lines and owning their own restaurants.  Bonus: Non-Architect/Designer: Hmmm…this one is tough. Probably Regina Spektor. I love her music and her songs are so bubbly and sometimes comical that I think we would have a pretty entertaining conversation.

Bialosky Announces Transition Plan