Meet the Contestants, Part 2: I Look Up Film Challenge Behind-the-Scenes

The 3rd annual I Look Up Film Challenge has closed and everyone has submitted their films. Judging is well underway. Teams across the country created high-impact films about architecture making a huge difference in communities around the country and the world. As we quickly approach Public Voting, let’s take this chance to meet a few more participants.

ANNIE FERGUSON, McGranahan Architects

Tacoma, WA

Instagram: @mcgranahanarchitects


Twitter: @McGranahanArch

“Hub on the Hilltop” tells the story of how McGranahan Architects, Bates Technical College and the community leaders of Tacoma, Washington’s Hilltop neighborhood joined together with one goal in mind: to provide an equitable education to all its residents.

Q: What inspired you and your team to “look up” and participate in this film challenge?

A: We were inspired to tell Bates’ story because we truly believe that every person and every community deserves equal and just access to quality education. What does architecture look like when we consider equity? This question was the inspiration for “Hub on the Hilltop”.


Boston, MA

Instagram: @theBACBoston

Snapchat: theBACBoston

Twitter: @TheBACBoston

Our story is about YouthBuild Boston, an organization that provides vocational training to underprivileged youth in downtrodden areas of Boston. Students engage directly with their communities to apply the practical skills they acquire at YouthBuild Boston to improve surrounding areas.

Q: Why did you choose to “look up” and participate in this film challenge?

A: This film challenge was suggested by a member of the Boston community who saw our video and was moved by it and felt it met the stipulations of this challenge. Once we looked into the criteria, we agreed that it would be a disservice not to submit this video and allow more people to see the impact this has on youth, and how they then impact their communities.

DANIEL HORN, Operation Resilient Living & Innovation (ORLI+)

Brooklyn, NY

Instagram: @ORLIPLUS

Facebook: Operation Resilient Living & Innovation (ORLI+)

Twitter: @orliplus

Driven by their own experiences living through Super-storm Sandy in 2012, and by the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, ORLI+ has been working with local communities on the Filipino island of Siargao. By empowering grassroots movements within at-risk communities and leveraging the strengths of existing culture, design professionals can help proliferate long term, holistic community resilience in the places and for the people that need it most.

Q: What inspired you to participate in this film challenge?

A: We love the idea of producing a video as a creative means to explain our mission, which is to proliferate and foster resilience in communities that are largely at risk because of natural and man-made disasters. Through our video, we hope to bring light to our recent activities that have much to do with sustaining resilience and building communities.

MYLES KRAMER, Skid Row Housing Trust

Los Angeles, CA

Facebook: @SkidRowHousingTrust @Myles Kramer

Twitter: @SkidRowOrg @myleskramer

Instagram: @SkidRowOrg @myleskramer

My film is about the Skid Row Housing Trust in downtown LA, and how architecture is being used to not only put an end to homelessness but rehabilitate the previously homeless. We are speaking with firms Brooks + Scarpa and Michael Maltzan Architecture about how this housing model is putting an end to homelessness in LA, and how it can be seen as a model for other cities to follow.

Like what you see here? Come to between Aug. 21st and Oct. 6th and put in your votes for the People’s Choice Award!