The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

N.O.M.A.S symposium explores human body’s interaction with design

 This weekend, Mississippi State University students have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the world of the elusive, nocturnal architecture students. The National Organization of Minority Architecture Students, N.O.M.A.S., invites students throughout MSU to attend its annual symposium Friday. 

The symposium will feature architect Howard, LEED AP of the Freelon Group architecture firm and a panel discussion in which students can ask questions of architecture students and professors from CAAD. With the theme “Design for the Body,” this year’s symposium will focus on design in relation to the body’s senses and experiences. 

Aryn Philips, third year architecture student and secretary of NOMAS, said she hopes students will leave the symposium cognizant of this great forethought that must go into all types of design.

 “I hope students will see that design that creates a memorable experience and atmosphere for users is what design is all about,” she said.

According to its website, Zena Howard has been an asset to the Freelon Group since 2003. Since joining the group, she has worked as an associate, an associate principal and now works at the level of principal. Her impressive resume and valuable architectural insight promise to inspire students from all sectors of CAAD.   

Howard’s contributions to the firm include projects such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, The International Civil Rights Center and Museum and Durham County Human Services Complex. The Smithsonian NMAAHC project expresses an architectural idea of the crown or corona form, which expresses faith, hope and resiliency. 

The project summary states that “when completed, the new NMAAHC will stand as a demonstration of best practices in environmental design. While the specific stories of persecution and struggle, resiliency and triumph will be presented in the museum’s exhibits, the building itself will stand as a powerful testament to the centrality and relevance of African American culture and history.”  

This parallelism is a direct representation of the message the symposium hopes to send: design is a complex entity that requires forethought and delicate planning. 

Aryn said she hopes students will realize that design is an intentional progress. 

“The symposium is all about the unity of the different perspectives and experiences of man and how design is not passive,” Aryn said. “All aspects of design, whether through material, color or texture, works towards the goal of expressing its function and creating a sensory experience that reflects the designers intention for an object or space.” 

Anthony Penny, architecture student and president of NOMAS, said he hopes the symposium will not only be an enjoyable experience for students, but that it will also affect CAAD long-term. 

“I hope it brings recognition to our school. We’re always tucked over here in the corner, so it’s a chance for people to come out and give us some recognition,” he said. 

Penny also said he is excited for students to interact with the symposium’s diverse group of panel advisers. 

“I’m really excited about all the faculty we’ve gotten to accept our invitation to come,” Penny said. “We’ve got someone from the art studio, someone from the landscape design department, someone from the interior design program and someone from the architecture faculty. We’ve got a really good mix of people, so it sounds like it will be a great conversation.”

With this in mind, students should expect for the symposium to open their minds to the power of intentional design and leave them with a greater appreciation of the work that goes on within the College of Art, Architecture and Design. The first panel discussions will be from 1:10-2:10 p.m., with the second to follow from 2:20-3:20 p.m. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
N.O.M.A.S symposium explores human body’s interaction with design