There is a battle raging in the dorm windows of Roger Williams University students. It started with a simple yet prominent image of video game character Mario, pieced together with Post-its on the window of sophomore Marlene Martinez’s North Campus Residence Hall apartment.
“I saw a piece about Post-it artwork on a website that I visit daily,” Martinez says, recalling her initial fascination with the creations, which resemble the pixel-like images seen in video games. “I thought, ‘I need to do this!’"
Shortly after installing the image in her window, a suite directly across from Martinez’s apartment created a Post-it window scene of their own, depicting the popular arcade game character Pac-Man chasing Mario under a clear message: “WAR.” The activity quickly caught momentum, with Post-it designs appearing in different locations across campus. More recently, Martinez teamed-up with other NCRH residents to create the Post-it image of a witch, displayed in the University Commons over Wicked Weekend.
“I love that others have gotten involved,” she says.
An export of Paris’ business district, the movement got its start in the office windows of workers who installed Post-it figures on their company windows. A corporate collage contest – dubbed La guerre des Post-it (the Post-it wars) – quickly ensued, with workers at companies like Coca-Cola France and Issy following suit. Since then, the figures have been seen in windows of businesses across the city Paris. (French video game developer and publisher Ubisoft even created a design that was so large, it spanned more than three floors and required the use of more than 3,000 Post-its.)
In addition to the ever-changing Post-it creations on display in her dorm window, Martinez also installed a Post-it picture of video game characters Princess Peach, Yoshi and Mario overlaid with the words “Welcome to New Res” in a bridge area of the North Campus Residence Hall. Other students have added their own Post-it art displays in bridges of the building too.
While Post-it creations continue to emerge across campus, the project has gained the support of RWU staff as well.
“What’s exciting for me is that it’s completely student-run. It’s their program that they’ve created,” says Danny Dicamillo, a Coordinator for Residence Education at RWU’s North Campus Residence Hall. “In the apartment areas, students don’t necessarily see each other every day, so to build a community like that for themselves is a really positive thing.”