Face It: Winners Announced and a Dispatch from the West

No Coal.
It was the message that spread like a west coast wildfire through the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus as students engaged in the “Reverberate” competition, part of Architecture 2030’s Face It events. The competition, aimed at universities around the country (see our previous coverage from Pratt’s campus), charged students to broadcast the message about the negative impacts of coal on our natural ecosystems and its role on greenhouse gas emissions. The tools required to participate in the competition were a 21st century blend of low and high tech: non-toxic body paint and digital cameras. During the roughly 24-hour charrette, students produced face and body paint designs that conveyed the “no coal” message as directed by the competition. At Cal Poly, students and faculty wandered around campus, into classes and faculty gatherings with painted faces that ranged from stark “NO COAL” scrawls to artfully illustrated American flags urging students to cast their votes with the environment in mind. A city and regional planning student summed it up this way: “The entries varied in meaning: some depicting strong political messages about health and environmental impacts, while others took a positive approach by displaying a set of alternatives to coal.”

At Cal Poly, the Reverberate competition – – along with the Focus the Nation, Global Warming Solutions for America, and Face It events – – brought together students from a wide range disciplines to take direct action on the topic of climate change. On campus, the event list was rich for the 4,500 attendees, with topical activities ranging from architecture to agriculture; from politics to poetics; from green jobs to green food. On the agenda was also Architecture 2030’s Face It webcast. Cal Poly joined a worldwide audience of 175,000 viewers as the webcast reminded participants of essential facts about global climate change and actions we can take in order to alter the course of our current consumptive trajectory.

Through their participation in the “Reverberate” competition, Cal Poly students have come to recognize that their work can affect the awareness of those around them. Through their involvement, they put their ideals into action. As future environmental stewards, these students have every right to ask: why are we all not doing the same?

A panel of jurors, including Metropolis editor in chief Susan Szenasy had over 225 face and body paint designs and approximately 30 videos to assess and the winners have been announced:

Face Color Winner: Emily Bibler, Iowa State University

Face B+W Winner: Jackie Fabella, Cal Poly Pomona

Body Winner: Miles Courtney, Pratt Institute

Metropolis Ad Winner: Jackie Fabella

To view all Face It entries, go here to see the body painting entries and here to watch the videos.

Sandy Stannard is an Associate Professor of Architecture, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

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