Articles Tagged with: alumni

The Timeline Wall: A Reflection

As we approach year’s end, we reflect on one of the more memorable internal office projects of the year.

From May 19 to 21, Philadelphia was the site of the 2016 AIA Convention. With many architects in town – some former Ballinger employees – Ballinger decided to host an Alumni Reception at our expansive studio at 833 Chestnut Street.

In preparation for the reception, we designed and installed a Timeline Wall down the middle of the office’s loft space. It is a celebration of our rich 125+ year-old heritage with particular emphasis on 1990 to today – when there has been a transformation in the design quality of our portfolio.

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Architects like to bring order to the world and the Timeline Wall became a system for organizing Ballinger’s history and evolving design portfolio. To create it we conducted historical and archival research, drawing on the firm’s earliest industrial buildings and innovations. We then polled our 10 principals for projects to consider from the 1990s to today, striking a balance of our academic, healthcare and corporate portfolio. While the timeline format is rigorous, the design challenge was to make the display engaging, not didactic. The Timeline Wall doesn’t force an observer through a linear passageway, it is approachable from any direction, without a start or finish line.

Our in-house reproduction team printed the Timeline Wall graphics in large format rolls of vinyl that wrapped a series of six-foot high and 20-foot wide partitions; seven partitions in total. We bookended each partition with a clearly marked demi-decade – a Dewey Decimal Classification System to navigate the timeline. Featured are the design projects that anchored the office for each demi-decade.

Ballinger project images from the past 25 years were highlighted in slideshows displayed on workstation monitors and via three small “pod exhibits” containing models and sketches. These displays were also located according to the demi-decade system and a detailed directory allowed visitors to pinpoint the location of individual project images.  Upon arrival at the reception, alumni could quickly find the demi-decade(s) they were at Ballinger, see projects they worked on, and mingle with former colleagues from the same era.

The Alumni Reception reconnected current and former colleagues and the Timeline Wall was a conversation piece and backdrop to the festivities. Thank you to the extended Ballinger community for joining us in Philadelphia.

The Timeline Wall was recognized by the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Philadelphia Chapter at their annual “Philly’s Phinest” Marketing Communication Awards. Ballinger was awarded First Place in the Special Event category and received the People’s Choice Award for the Timeline Wall.

The Timeline Wall also inspired a digital extension of its content.

Ballinger Celebrates its History and Alumni

Held in conjunction with the AIA Convention, Ballinger hosted a cocktail Alumni Reception in our studio Friday. Current and former colleagues from across the US attended. A 150-foot timeline highlighted the firm’s evolution since its founding in 1878, and displays featuring key projects illustrated the firm’s iterative process with models and sketches. Thanks to the many current and former colleagues who attended!

Principal Terry D. Steelman welcomed guests

Principal Terry D. Steelman welcomed guests

Wall graphics and digital displays told the story of Ballinger’s history

Wall graphics and digital displays told the story of Ballinger’s history

The AIA Convention brought dispersed former colleagues to Philadelphia

The AIA Convention brought dispersed former colleagues to Philadelphia

The reception took place place in Ballinger’s studio

The reception took place place in Ballinger’s studio

Ballinger Connects Alumni During AIA Convention

During this year’s AIA Convention, Ballinger was pleased to host alumni groups from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Alumni from the two universities were invited to Ballinger’s studio for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity to reconnect with classmates. In addition to providing a respite from the convention, the reception included an exhibit illustrating Ballinger’s history of innovation.

Ballinger has had the privilege to design projects on the campuses of both universities, including the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan and Clark Hall at the University of Maryland.

Robert Fishman, Interim Dean and Professor of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning, addressed University of Michigan alumni

Robert Fishman, Interim Dean and Professor of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning, addressed University of Michigan alumni

David Cronrath, Dean of University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, mingled with attendees

David Cronrath, Dean of University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, mingled with attendees

The Maryland Terrapin welcomed University of Maryland alumni

The Maryland Terrapin welcomed University of Maryland alumni