Once Wonderland, The Shire, and Camelot became common vernacular at NGX, our geeks-and-nerds-in-residence pressed onwards to name the working spaces for our project management, creative, and technical departments. With all three departments filled with fans of children’s literature, fantasy, and science fiction, the challenge was how to pick from so many beloved fictional worlds!
The first of these spaces to be named was Falconhurst — the Project Manager’s loft. With a nice view of the R&D and Demo space (and their projects-in-progress) below them, the loft was named for the treehouse built on the branches of a hollow tree in the classic children’s novel The Swiss Family Robinson. Akin to a treehouse where the PMs can watch over their projects, the loft was named by Diedre Fiest, our Project Management lead. As Dee shared recently, “Swiss Family Robinson was one of my favourite books as a child. The significance for me was twofold, as I love trees — so to live in one seemed pretty cool to me — and it was one of those stories that really ignited my imagination from being stranded on a tropic deserted island, to living in a really cool tree house, to racing an ostrich”. As a company that aims to ignite curiosity and an interest in learning — with the Project Managers overseeing these adventures — the treehouse namesake for this workspace was just right.
The creative team were inspired by another sort of tree dweller, Ewoks. Their workspace, ‘Endor’, is named for the Ewok’s planetary home from the legendary sci-fi movie franchise Star Wars. While at first the Ewoks may just seem like “fierce teddy bears”, don’t underestimate them. As articulated by Experience Lead, Jan Beringer, “they were a group of diverse people who, through new friends and alliances, came together to use design thinking, innovation and prototyping to defeat a seemingly superior force”. The Creative Team are indeed innovative, fierce, and imaginative individuals who use their artistic skill and design thinking in order to conquer and complete their many tasks. In addition, our lush environment here on the West Coast is eerily familiar to that of Endor, which was a forest moon where the Ewoks lived in thriving communities amongst the trees. Our version of Endor is the highest loft of the office, with large windows to the world below, an ever-changing arrangement of desks and plants, and creative ideas plastered to any available surface.
The NGX tech team named their space for another science fiction nerd-essential novel: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. As passionately described by Technical Director, Valerie Eades, “Douglas Adams’ writing is much loved by nerds the world over for his ability to capture just the right balance between wonder and silliness with technology, culture, science and the universe”. And if there were ever a place in NGX where of all those aspects of nerd-culture are available in full, it would be the tech area, which is occupied by some of our nerdiest nerds, making the name wonderfully appropriate. The tech team delights in the name ‘Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha’ – even if, or even because, it is complicated, odd, and a bit more obscure. For those unfamiliar with the Galactic Sector, suffice to say that when facing complex challenges, a bit of whimsy, absurdity, and humour can really help. As Valerie said recently “sometimes the best way to deal with it and to problem solve through difficult challenges is with laughter. Rolling with the punches is all part of the game”.
Here at NGX, while we take what we do very seriously, we try not to take ourselves too seriously — hence the room names which remind us be our nerdiest selves, rise to the challenges before us, and inspire us to do our best work.
-Emma Doig, Intern & Teenager-in-Residence