Before I die I want to…

A little over a month ago, installation artist Candy Chang turned the side of an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighbourhood into a giant chalkboard where passers-by could write up their aspirations

A little over a month ago, installation artist Candy Chang turned the side of an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighbourhood into a giant chalkboard where passersby could write up their personal aspirations…

Before I Die, “transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us,” Chang writes on her website.

As the founder of Civic Center, a design studio in the city that aims to “make thoughtful public spaces and communication tools for everyday issue of city life,” Chang has been following the progress of the messages as they have accumulated on the chalkboard.

The latest pictures from the Before I Die project, the first two images shown here, are from just a few days ago.

From “understand why I’m here” to “do a cartweel”…

The self-initiated piece (Chang sought permission from the property owner) is at 900 Marigny Street, on the corner of Marigny and Burgundy, in New Orleans. It was made using boarding and chalkboard paint – and plenty of chalk – in collaboration with the neighborhood association’s blight committee, the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the Arts Council, and the City Planning Commission.

The boards as of mid-March

“I believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what’s important to us as residents and as human beings,” says Chang. “The responses and stories from passersby while we were installing it have already hit me hard in the heart. More installations to come.”

And after squinting hard at the shot below, I think I’ve worked out what this little girl’s immediate priorities are: “Before I die I want to eat all the candy…”. More images from the project at candychang.com.

UPDATE: Candy emailed us with update of what the girl finally wrote: “Before I die I want to eat all the candy and sushi in the world.” Brilliant.

Thanks to Kristina Kassem, Alan Williams, Cory Klemmer, Anamaria Vizcaino, James Reeves, Alex Vialou, Sean Knowlton, Carolina Caballero, and Gary Hustwit for installation assistance.


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