Profile: Ernest Ng
Walk through Mississippi State University\'s Joe Frank Sanderson Center as bodies in motion reveal sublime design perfection. The award-winning recreational facility sees students, faculty and staff push themselves to be better, live healthier, and actively engage classmates and colleagues.
As one of the land-grant institution\'s busiest gathering places, Sanderson plays an important role in the lives of thousands, but maintains a special sense of community. Clearly, good design comes into play on many levels in this space. Case in point: at the front of the complex is a desk that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
"I named the project \'Sanderson Anatomy\' because the desk was essentially designed as choreography of individual groups of elements that are structurally integrated and connected to one another. Inspired by the building\'s primary function as a space for the wellness of the human body, the design for the reception desk takes on a composition of inter-connected elements," said visiting assistant professor Ernest Ng, who led a team of School of Architecture students in the desk\'s design and construction last Maymester.
The project was a significant learning experience for all.
"As undergraduates, the students working on the project had very limited custom carpentry skills, and I emphasized to them the importance of craftsmanship in the process and finished project," he said. "Within the first week, they realized that they would be able to finish a piece of work that would be a fixture on campus and would be used, admired and scrutinized. It was the perfect opportunity to cultivate a strong sense of responsibility and craftsmanship in whatever they do."
In addition to the education experience, the desk\'s location and functionality helped streamline operations, and the facility now uses fewer workers for tasks such as equipment check-out. The savings are an important value-add.
"The ultimate goal of a good design is to make life a little better, either more pleasant, or simply more efficient for everyone and anyone," Ng said.
Next week … Sarah Lynn Fisk !