RoomHop: Creative Minds

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In this latest RoomHop, dorm design professional Alexandra Svokos traveled to the Woodbridge abode of a pair of seniors involved—among other things—in XMAS!6, which is tonight(!) in Roone at 8:15pm.


“His name is Nero,” Lila Neiswanger,CC ’12, and Will Brown, SEAS ’12, say in unison about their betta fish. “Oh, the apartment’s name is Antium, ” Will goes on, “which is the birthplace of Emperor Nero.” “But the fish came first,” Lila quickly clarifies.  The fish is just one object in this Woodbridge room of wonders.  As a fighter fish, they felt it deserved an ancient dictator’s name; given the choice between Nero and Artaxerxes, Lila chose Nero.

Artaxerxes was not forgotten, however.  “Will’s one of those people who names his computers,” Lila explains.  Boasting six computers, Will is a CS senior.  The name Artaxerxes was bestowed upon the desktop computer that he built and uses.  “It’s just kinda sliding stuff into stuff,” he shrugs when asked about building it before explaining the pieces inside the computer.  “Just go with it,” Lila says.


The 3D printer the duo assembled by hand

Controlled through the computer is a projector that continually shines on the wall.  It cycles through webpages or plays a youtube video of a fireplace.  “It just keeps interesting things on the screen,” Will explains.  It has also been used for movies and TV and can be hooked up to an Xbox.  Next to the projector is a lamp made by Will’s parents from an old French camera with a soda can painted black for a lampshade.

Together, Lila and Will built a 3D printer that looks like it came from Dexter’s laboratory.  Melting down plastic filaments, it creates little objects like colorful Pacman ghosts that shine under blacklight.  They have been updating the machine over time, with additions like LED lights that change colors.


We’re hoping it’s the plastic and the ghost isn’t covered in, well, you know.

The walls are covered in posters – show posters, photographs and drawings by Lila, or “stuff from…ComicCon,” Lila shyly admits.  Lila is a technical drama student and has been involved in many Columbia shows.  She and Will met in freshman year working on the Varsity Show (where a continued war over an owed dollar began) and now both work for Lerner AV.

The show posters on the wall only cover about a third of the productions they’ve collectively worked on and, with the exception of one, were designed by either Lila or Will, who add graphic design to their impressive resumes.

As evidenced by an air compressor, Lila also does airbrushing and makes t-shirts.  Her desk holds a multitude of fascinating objects (apart from a few printed ghosts) including a Nerf gun—although, she says, the room is not ideal for it as the walls are pockmarked and thus the suction-tipped bullets don’t stick—and a floppy disk used for old stage light boards.  She also has a can of “Dark Matter” purchased at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., a nonprofit store.  Will’s desk has a red superhero telephone from the shop.


Nothing says cozy like a YouTube video

A keyboard is in the middle of the room, a birthday gift for Will. “‘Oh yeah gonna play the fucking piano,’” he says his reaction was, “and I’ve maybe played for a sum total of an hour since May.”  But the piano is a testament to their dramatic interests.  A score from the XMAS!6 show, for which Lila is the art director and Will the lighting designer, rests on the music stand.

Hailing from Antwerp, Belgium (Will) and Portland (Lila), the pair will be adventuring off to Sydney, Australia after graduation where Will has a programming job at Google and Lila will “bum around” and get a theater job before applying to grad school.  No word on if Nero will be coming with them.

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    Two of the coolest, most creative people on campus who are all about having lots of fun and no bullshit. YAY WILL AND LILA!

  2. Anonymous  

    my betta fish died this morning :(

  3. Oh wow  

    Building a 3D printer by hand. Mad props

  4. Anonymous

    I can't tell if this is a RoomHop or a PowerSuite turned PowerCouple.

  5. Press it, Press it for GLORY

    It's like the early days of SVEN in there....

  6. XMAS  

    XMAS! 6 is at 8 PM and 10:15 PM, actually! Come see it!

  7. Waxima Perez  

    I love them!!

  8. man  

    I don't know either of these guys, but I wish I did--they seem incredibly awesome. Rock on!

  9. Anonymous  

    I'm so jealous. I want a 3D printer so bad!!

  10. Anonymous  


  11. Anonymous  

    I saw this apartment in my dreams! Reality is so much more awesome, though.

  12. Anonymous  

    Will is a CS senior with a minor in omnipotence. FTFY

  13. there's no way around it

    these guys sound really fucking cool.

  14. Anonymous  

    Will and Lila fangirl.

  15. OMG  

    this guys are amazing. And Lila's a very nice person too!

  16. Anonymous  

    Looks like a cheap senior design project

  17. Anonymous

    Every CS class I've had with Will he always leaves first during the tests--usually only halfway through the allotted time. Dude's a beast.

  18. Sevan  

    we many hearts Lila&Will!

  19. Anonymous

    Awesome. The photo makes it look quite a bit larger than it feels inside, but all-in-all, this suite (and the people inhabiting it, especially) exude awesome.

  20. Jill  

    I love you WiLa! Beast On!

  21. Anonymous  

    man, i wish my boyfriend would pay for me to bum around a foreign country with my useless degree when i graduate.

    • We'll see  

      how "useless" that degree is when Lila is the technical director of a Broadway show or some other sort of commercial theater and making some pretty amazing things happen that people will pay literally hundreds of dollars to see...

    • Anonymous

      You probably also wish you could get an 800 on your GRE quant and 99th percentile on the verbal (like Lila with her useless education). But I don't think they give those scores for ignorant assumptions.

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