Carlos Aceytuno, a sophomore graphic design major from Pomona, submitted the winning design for the 2019 Cal Poly Rose Float “Far Out Frequencies.”
Aceytuno, who has never designed or worked on any float, had seen the Rose Parade on television before. But seeing the 2018 Cal Poly float “Dreams Take Flight” in person, when it was displayed on campus last January, sparked his curiosity. He wondered about the design process for such a large craft?”
A few months later, Aceytuno learned about the 2019 design contest and the parade theme “The Melody of Life” celebrating music, the universal language.
“The theme got the gears in my head working when I saw the word ‘universal,’ said Aceytuno. “I immediately thought of space and aliens, and this was further enhanced by the fact that I love science fiction.
“I do feel a connection to this year’s theme…. Music helps me concentrate on tasks and sometimes gives me inspiration as well. I also listen to a lot of music that I don’t understand in terms of language, or music that does not have lyrics at all. That’s where the concept of “music as a universal language” comes into play for me. I don’t have to fully understand what the artist is saying, yet I can tell what they are trying to express.”
Once the students on the Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Rose Float teams selected Aceytuno’s design, they discussed the various elements and made a few changes to represent the team’s style and touch.
“The beginning of our design is determining a story,” said Naythan Muro, design chair on the Cal Poly Pomona team. “The story helps us picture exactly what we want from the float. Then we provide the elements necessary to capture a moving story.
“Our team did not want to have our front astronaut, named Morgan, to travel alone through space. We decided to give him a friend named Sally,” said Muro. “Upon meeting the family of aliens, Morgan and Sally want to make peace and friendship. The best way to communicate was with their variety of music. This completes our design story…. Two different species getting along and enjoying each other’s company by playing music is beautiful. We saw it as a fun idea to have a variety of fun instruments for the aliens to play with.”
Aceytuno’s favorite part of his original design was the astronaut. “I imagined myself in his boots leading a group of alien musicians,” he said. “In the final design, I still love the astronaut playing his guitar, only this time it’s even cuter because he is being shadowed by an alien playing his air guitar.”
Aceytuno plans to follow the float’s progress as it’s built and decorated despite a full schedule of classes and work. He plans to put his $500 contest prize towards his studies.
The Cal Poly Rose Float is a joint venture between Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It is the only students designed and built float in the Rose Parade. “Far Out Frequencies” will be the team’s 71st consecutive entry in the parade watched by millions on the parade route and on television.
The 130th Rose Parade in Pasadena will be held on Jan. 1, 2019 and travel 5 ½ miles down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Musician Chaka Khan will be the parade’s Grand Marshall.
For more information about Cal Poly Universities’ Rose Float program or to sign-up as a volunteer for Deco Week (Dec. 26 – Dec. 30), when the team adds the finishing touches to the float in Pasadena, visit the Rose Float website.