What if we had the power to decide what became of the neglected buildings in our cities? What if sharing our ideas and feedback could really influence and shape the development of public spaces in our neighbourhoods? Artist Candy Chang is wishing for a world like that– and trying to make her wish come true …
Do you ever get the feeling that it’s easier to reach out to the entire world than to reach out to your own neighbourhood? That’s how Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang feels lately, too. And she’s trying to do something about it– something so obvious and simple and most importantly, something that involves the people who know what businesses our neighbourhoods need the most– us!
“I think we need to consider whether our public spaces are better designed so that they’re not necessarily going to the highest bidder, [but] instead that they’re reflecting what’s really important to our neighbourhoods and our personal well-being.” Candy Chang is an artist whose work has been exhibited all over the world, including the Venice Biennale and the Tate Modern. But first and foremost, she is a member of her community who wants to challenge the conventional perception of public space and provoke civic engagement.
“It’s like a love child of urban planning and street art,” says Candy, who took to the streets armed with sharpie pens and vinyl stickers (that can be easily removed without damaging property), to help her community voice their thoughts.
Currently living in New Orleans, a city still recovering from devastation, Candy was blown away by the range of responses…
So how can we get ourselves and our neighbourhoods involved? Well, for starters, we can print off our own stickers. Candy has kindly provided us with a file to download them here.
I know you and I seem to have some magnetic force that us to abandoned places, so my guess is that carrying around a little stack of these with us would probably come in handy.
And you might also want to check out Neighborland, an app that Candy jointly created to help people share and take ideas a step further through a combination of online page and public installations.
Each idea submitted online has a dedicated page where people can share knowledge, updates, resources, or more.
Discover more projects by Candy Chang.