Back to top

Roberta Faulhaber–A Rose in the Garden of Our Hearts

On June 10, the IFVP and the visual practice community lost a brilliant, skilled and beloved member, Roberta Faulhaber. Brandy Agerbeck made the announcement via a Facebook post to the Graphic Facilitation group page:


For those of us who have not had the pleasure or privilege of knowing Roberta the bio from the WHO WE ARE page of her website reads as follows:

"Roberta is an American who has been based in Paris for over 30 years.  As a painter, she exhibits in both France and the United States on a regular basis, and as a visual consultant, she is committed to the current visual renaissance and visual thinking.

Another passion: communication.  She held degrees in philosophy, fine arts, and communication, and has worked as art director in advertising and médical communication as well as a high-level conference interpreter.  She combines active listening and synthetic thinking skills with clarity and beauty to visually model a conversation as it emerges in real time with her two languages, English and French.

She founded RF Visual Consultants in 2009 to further the development of visual facilitation in many areas.  In addition to her activities  as a graphic facilitator, graphic recorder, and visual consultant, she also trained coaches, facilitators, consultants, managers, and trainers in visual thinking and  leading visual meetings.

She was a member of the board of Metacarto, one of the founding members of IAF-Paris, and leader of Dessein+Dessin, a local community of practice  affiliated with the International Forum of Visual Practitioners.  She also teaches a course in graphic facilitation in the university course in Collective Intelligence at the Université de Cergy-Pointoise near Paris.

Roberta Faulhaber’s fine art can be seen ici."


Roberta in action at TEDxCelsa (en Français)

As our world continues to mourn the loss of Roberta what shines through is the lasting legacy of her work and relationships. She has shown us that come together, not just to display what we can do, but to show who we are and what's possible when we share ourselves. IAF France will be hosting an Hommage à Roberta Faulhaber on July 2. Many answered Brandy Agerbeck's invitation to share their memories of Roberta. These are some of the words from those who knew, loved and appreciated her:

Florence Dailleux Kovarbasic So sad to read that Roberta is gone, she was a brilliant trainer and a beautiful person, full of passion, fighting spirit and a positive energy she was able to convey and keen to share... Thanks Roberta, you helped me a lot as I was getting started, you really cared and I am so happy and grateful we met.

Avril Orloff I am so saddened by this heartbreaking news! Roberta and I connected several years ago, bonding over our mutual love of philosophy and art, and I always enjoyed sharing ideas and laughter with her. She brilliantly married her artistic creativity with an incisive intellect, all overlaid with a kind and generous heart. I will miss my friend dearly.

Rosanna von Sacken Sad for this loss in our visual practitioner community.

Michelle Laurie Very sorry to hear this news. She was an inspiration spreading GF in the world of French speakers and beyond. 

Jessica Landau Very sad news indeed.

Dean Meyers So very sorry to hear this (and somewhat shocked!!). I first met her in person at the IFVP conference in Pittsburgh. She was animated, generous of spirit, everlastingly curious and committed to improving her skills and those of others. She saw this field as a great endeavor in improving communication and connection, and was less interested in it being an artistic outlet than as a tool to build bridges and improve the way the world could work together, from one person to another to an entire business and beyond. Perhaps I’m projecting my own beliefs on to her, but we had these kinds of conversations (via skype more than we could in person), and that is how I would like to remember her: a great inspiration, colleague, peer and friend.

Sam Bradd oh my goodness, that's sad news indeed. Roberta and I connected for the first time when she and I were part of an online 8-part discussion/ community of practice with the IFVP back in 2014. She volunteered to draw visual notes, encouraged the use of new technology tools for our small group, and always brought positive suggestions forward. I love seeing how she kept art as a focus in her practice, like this example above - her facebook paintings always were a highlight in my feed.

Stina Brown OH!!! This is a sad shock indeed!! I loved my visits with Roberta in Berlin and have enjoyed her friendship since. Sad news, thank you for sharing. 

Kelvy Bird Oh my goodness! What a very sad surprise. Thank you Brandy for the post. I remember Roberta as an always curious, open-minded soul who offered as much - or much more - than she received. We never met in person, but i will miss her in the community at large. 

Brenda Tan I first met her in person in 2014, when IAF Paris hosted the IAF Global Board meeting, although we had met online much earlier. She shone her warmth and her ready smiles. She did not suffer fools, but was nonetheless kind and was encouragement personified. When I was undergoing my cancer treatments, she was a strong support. When my team was wondering how to build up network of visual practitioners in this region, she listened and shared her perspectives. I was glad to have hugged her again last year at the IAF Europe Conference, and will miss her sorely.

Julie Stuart I remember her pioneering and persevering spirit. She was one of the first practioners I knew based in Europe and for a while it felt like she was the only one in France. She always seemed so up on things too.. she was an early adopter of digital recording. And she had a beautiful art practice. I will miss her. She felt to me like one of the pillars in the field.

Anthony Weeks I’m sorry to hear this. I only met Roberta once in person but we had a wonderful conversation. She had presence. I watched her in action, and she brought a style like no one else. It was simply lyrical. Thanks, Roberta, for the beauty that you shared.

Florence Rigneau Her sponsorship is priceless. She gave me the confidence to start in 2012 . She used to comment my child's drawings and she was convinced that my son would surpass me (he was 4 at this time). I thank her for having asked me to work with her at the very beginning of my practise.

Lisa Nelson I never got to meet her in person but glad we connected online. Beautiful spirit.

Sandra Dirks This is so sad. I met her at EuViz2014 in Berlin, we had a wonderful conversation. I remembered that very often. She encouraged me so much. After the conference, I met her online in many live-sessions. She was so inspiring. Thanks Roberta. Wonderful woman!

last meeting.jpg

Raquel Benmergui My last memory of Roberta was meeting up with her in Paris when we had a gathering of visual practitioners. We had good critical conversation, we laughed a lot and it was a joy! So grateful to have had that last meeting. She was so talented, funny, supportive and a wise woman. She will be missed—what a lovely human. We had spoken several times about creating a small summer retreat in Finland at my place where we could stretch the artistic side of graphic facilitation. Oh, I am so sad she slipped away. I will plant a rose in her memory in my garden. A place I would have liked to have had her visit.

Your thoughts and memories of Roberta are welcomed.