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

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.

CR in print

Thanks for reading the CR Blog, but if you’re not reading us in print too, you’re missing out on a richer, deeper view of your world. Our April issue features our Top 20 logos of all time. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)207 292 3703. Better yet, subscribe to CR, save yourself almost a third and get Monograph for free plus a host of special deals from the CR Shop. Go on, treat yourself.

More from CR

The shortlist where nobody wins

Over the last few days, jubilant creatives have been celebrating the news that their work has been shortlisted at D&AD. So why are many of them now retracting their joyous tweets and, in some cases, apologising to clients?

Nice work for Kit Kat, SNCF, Help Remedies and more

It’s Friday, so it must be time for a round-up of great new advertising. First up is a quirky campaign from agencytwofifteen in San Francisco, who have created a series of films based on dreams for new health brand Help Remedies…

How We Chose Our Top 20 logos

So, here it is, our Top 20 logos. Not the 20 Greatest Brands Ever, notice, nor even the 20 Best Logos. It’s our Top 20: our favourites drawn from the views of the editorial team here at CR, our readers and the wider industry. We hope you enjoy discovering it, and disagreeing with it

Graphic Designer

Fushi Wellbeing

Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency