STARKVILLE, Miss.—An internship has proven to be a lifechanging experience for one Mississippi State architecture student, and the result of his summer work is on display this week in New York City during the Architecture and Design Film Festival’s Short Films Walk in the Soho Design District.
Senior Baron O. Necaise of Gulfport is sharing a film he created as a summer intern to be shown in one of eight showrooms at the festival on Wednesday [Oct. 2] from 5-9 p.m. For more, visit https://sohodesigndistrict.org/events/adff-short-films-walk-2019/.
In addition to architecture, Necaise has interests and talents in photography, videography and social media. When he was struggling to choose a focus area for his future career, MSU Associate Professor Jacob Gines stepped in to help.
“He told me I don’t necessarily have to choose one of these passions and that I could use my variety of skills at many firms, such as at Method Studio, which values this kind of skill set,” Necaise said.
Necaise interned with architectural design firm Method Studio in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he quickly put his video skills to use when he learned about a competition through the American Institute of Architects’ Blueprint for Better campaign to tackle key issues with clients and community leaders.
“Method is really interested in community activism and thought their Bud Bailey multi-family affordable housing project would be a great fit for the competition,” Necaise said.
He created a video about the firm’s housing project for low-income families, refugees, children aging out of foster care and previously homeless individuals.
Coincidentally, Necaise’s annual fourth-year architecture studio field trip, which has been scheduled for months, also is taking place this week in New York City. He and classmates are excited to see his work as part of the Short Films Walk experience.
“Baron’s design interests and videography skillset perfectly aligned with the vision Method Studio had for documenting Bud Bailey,” said Gines, who in addition to his faculty role in MSU’s School of Architecture also is vice president of research and design at Method Studio. Each semester, Gines serves as a mentor to a student research fellow for the firm.
“Architecture is so much more than building,” Gines said. “It is concerned with the issues of our time. Having this opportunity to document the Bud Bailey Apartments brings to light the challenges and incredible opportunity architects have to create meaningful and humane housing for formerly homeless and other displaced individuals,” he said, adding that the “compassion and professionalism that Baron demonstrated throughout the project is to be applauded.”
“The School of Architecture is very fortunate in the synergy between the talents of our student body and our faculty,” said Interim Director of the School of Architecture Jassen Callender. “On the one hand, our students are committed to exploring the boundaries of architecture and working for greater recognition of the profession outside the academy. On the other, many among our faculty are closely involved in the profession and therefore remain aware of the leading edge of practice. Baron Necaise and Professor Jacob Gines are exemplary leaders in this regard.”
Necaise said he didn’t know much about affordable or refugee housing before he started the project.
“I learned so much about the people these types of projects serve and how their voices and opinions aren’t heard on a daily basis; they are often put to the side. It’s an important issue that’s not talked about enough,” Necaise said.
“One of the reasons I chose MSU was because they found value in expanding students’ knowledge past the four walls of the classroom,” Necaise said. “Faculty push us to travel and take opportunities outside of the school. Thanks to them, this whole experience—the internship, the competition and now the film festival—has solidified my passion for this profession. It’s shown me that I don’t have to pick. I can do it all in the future, and I’m thankful to Professor Gines for helping me to realize that. Starting this summer, I had no idea it was going to mean so much to me, but it’s an experience I wouldn’t change for the world.”
Learn more about MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and its School of Architecture at caad.msstate.edu and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.