Photograph by Randal Ford for Fast Company


Candy Chang is a Taiwanese American artist who is interested in the relationship between public space and personal well being. Combining urban planning, street art, and design, she sought more contemplative and inclusive ways to reflect and share with the people around her. Her interactive experiments in public space have examined issues from housing costs and the future of vacant buildings to personal aspirations and anxieties. After losing someone she loved, she created Before I Die on an abandoned house in her neighborhood to invite people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space. Since then, over 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 60 countries and 30 languages by passionate people around the world, and her book about the project was recently published by St. Martin’s Press. Her existential confusion and experiences working with communities in Johannesburg, Helsinki, Nairobi, New York, Turku, Fairbanks, New Orleans, Medan, and Almaty have influenced her work and evolving questions.

She has lived many lives, as a designer for The New York Times, a field researcher for Nokia, a musician, a record label founder, a designer for community organizations, and a parking garage attendant. She received a Masters in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a BS in Architecture and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan. Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Biennale, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Southbank Centre, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She is a TED Senior Fellow and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and has received grants, commissions, and residencies from Art Production Fund, European Capital of Culture, the Arts Council of New Orleans, the Alaska Design Forum, and the Black Rock Arts Foundation. After a decade in New York and Helsinki, she lives in New Orleans. She believes public spaces are as profound as we allow them to be and have much more potential to help us make sense of the beauty and tragedy of life with the people around us.


For speaking inquiries, please contact The Lavin Agency.

Candy Chang:
Email inquiries (for any Before I Die related inquiries, please email here.)

Before I Die:


Design for Social Impact, Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta GA
Mural Arts, Philadelphia PA (upcoming)
Imago Mundi, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans LA (upcoming)

Before I Die, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA (on exterior of building until Nov 2014)
The Institute Effect, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon Portugal
Signs of Our Times: Text Based Art in the 21st Century, Southeastern Contemporary Art Gallery, Hammond LA
Ephemera Sprawl, The Print Center, Philadelphia PA
Biennale Internationale Design, Saint-Étienne France
Ideas City, New Museum, New York NY
Untapped Invitational, Umbrella Arts Gallery, New York NY
The Futures Project, The Centre for the Living Arts, Mobile AL
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA
Dial Collect, SOMArts, San Francisco CA

Past Futures, Present, Futures, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York NY
Iconic Signage Project, Arts Council of New Orleans, New Orleans LA
Spontaneous Interventions, Venice Biennale, Venice Italy
Confessions, Art Production Fund, Las Vegas NV
The City Speaks Exhibition, Europe
Mix(Cité), La Cité de L’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris France
Death: The Southbank Centre’s Festival for the Living, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London UK

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, National Design Triennial, New York NY
The Voice Of…, Onomatopee, Eindhoven Netherlands
Hypothetical Development, Du Mois Gallery, New Orleans LA
Turku European Capital of Culture, Flux Aura, Turku, Finland
Common Space, The Alaska Design Forum, Fairbanks AK
Subtext Projects, East/West Galleries, Fort Worth TX

Ethnographic Terminalia, Du Mois Gallery, New Orleans LA
Poster Offensive, GALLEY, Minneapolis MN

Global Polis, Center for Architecture, New York NY
@, Sci-Arc, Los Angeles CA

Illuminators, Koltsovo International Airport, Yekaterinburg Russia
Windows Brooklyn, New York NY
Figment, Governors Island, New York NY

Conflux Festival, Brooklyn NY


AIGA 100 Years of Design

Burning Man Award of Excellence
The Creativity 50, Advertising Age
The Good 100, GOOD Magazine
Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design

World Economic Forum Young Global Leader
Art Production Fund Artist-in-Residence at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV
Maryland Institute College of Art Samson Feldman Artist-in-Residence

TED Senior Fellow
Black Rock Arts Foundation Grant Recipient
Tulane University/Rockefeller Foundation Urban Innovation Fellow
Alaska Design Forum Artist-in-Residence
Top 11 Visual Artists in New Orleans, NOLA Defender

European Capital of Culture Flux Aura/Artist as Neighbour Artist-in-Residence, Turku, Finland
Fast Company Emerging Master of Design

TED Global Fellow

Center for Urban Pedagogy Making Policy Public Fellow, New York
Sappi Ideas That Matter Grant Recipient

Columbia University Urban Planning Award for Outstanding Contribution to Leadership in Planning Education
Global Studio Fellow, Johannesburg, South Africa
Infrastructure and Poverty Action Lab Fellow

Global Studio Fellow, Vancouver, Canada
Spatial Information Design Lab Fellow, New Orleans


American Planning Association National Conference, Atlanta, GA
Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference, Detroit, MI
Vivid Sydney Festival, Sydney, Australia

Center for Architecture, New York, NY
Creative Change Retreat, Sundance, UT
World Education Congress, Las Vegas, NV
Canadian Institute of Planners, Vancouver, Canada
Centre for the Living Arts, Mobile, AL
Global Health Summit, New Orleans, LA

TED Global Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Creativity World Forum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
Mural Arts Roundtable, Philadelphia, PA
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV

Youth Art Camp, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Visión Diseño Conference, Querétaro, Mexico
Summer Public Art School, Turku, Finland
Alaska Design Forum Symposium, Anchorage, AK
TED Conference, Long Beach, CA

TYPO International Design Conference, Berlin, Germany
Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland 

For speaking inquiries, please contact The Lavin Agency.


M.S. Urban Planning, Columbia University, New York, NY
B.F.A. Graphic Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
B.S. Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Sabrina Shattles, “Women Who Design,” Print Magazine, February 2014 issue, p. 40-47.
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, “Before I Die Art Project Goes Global,” CBS News, Dec 28, 2013.
Carolyn Thompson, “Public Art Project Elicits the Profound, Profane,” AP News, Dec 4, 2013.
Emanuella Grinberg, “‘Before I Die’ Walls Turn Dreams Into Words,” CNN, Dec 2, 2013.
Maria Popova, “Before I Die: A Global Ethnography of Anonymous Aspirations in Chalk and Public Space,” Brain
Pickings, Nov 2013.
“My 10 Favorite Before I Die Responses: Candy Chang Celebrates the Release of Her Book,” TED News, Nov 2013.
Christine McLaren, “100 Urban Trends: Public Space,” BMW Guggenheim Lab, Sept 2013.
“Top Creatives,” Origin Magazine, March/April 2013.
Joseph Hart, “Conversations with Five Artists Who Think Deeply About How Public Art Can Shape Our Experience
of Place,” Public Art Review Magazine, Issue 47, Nov 2012.
“Assignment: I Wish This Was…”, CNN, Aug 2012.
Emily Badger, “Confessions From Sin City,” The Atlantic, Aug 2012.
Paul Schmelzer, ”Fill-in-the-Blank: Candy Chang’s Urban Interventions and Open-Ended Questions,” The Walker
Art Center, Apr 2012.
”Hopes and Dreams Become Urban Art,” NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams, Dec 6 2011.
Greg Hanscom, ”The City Speaks – and Artist Candy Chang Finds Fresh Ways to Listen,” Grist, Dec 2011
Jessica Sivester, ”Community Builder: How Candy Chang’s Public Art Projects Are Changing Communities
Everywhere,” O, The Oprah Magazine, Sept 2011 issue, p60.
Samantha Michaels, “A Conversation with Candy Chang, Public Installation Artist and Designer,”, The Atlantic,
Aug 2011.
Morgan Clendaniel, “Looking for Love Again: Abandoned Buildings That Ask Cities For Renewal,” Fast Company,
June 2011.
Wooster Collective, “The Innovative Candy Chang,” USA Network, May 2011.
Mike Hoss, ”‘Before I Die’ Wall Draws Responses, Attention,” WWL-TV New Orleans, May 2011.
Helen Soteriou, “An Interview with Candy Chang,” Juxtapoz Magazine, Apr 2011
Gerardo Terán, ”Candy Chang: Antes De Morir,” La Tempestad Contemporary Arts Magazine, Issue 77, Apr 2011.
Mimi Zeiger, “The Interventionist’s Toolkit: Posters, Pamphlets and Guides,” Design Observer, Mar 2011.
Olivia Solon, “TED 2011: What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?”, Wired Magazine, Mar 2011
Linda Kudrnovská, “Disciplines Are as Wide as We Want Them to Be: An Interview with Candy Chang”, TYPO
Magazine, Issue 42, Winter 2010, p 30-37.
Doug MacCash, “New Orleans artist Candy Chang Creates Unusual Mural in the Marigny,” The Times Picayune,
Feb 2011.
“Top 11 Visual Artists in 2011″, NOLA Defender, Dec 2010.
Alissa Walker, “A Generation of Emerging Designers Who Design With Purpose,” Fast Company, Masters of Design Issue, Oct 2010.
”Candy Chang Designer Civique”, étapes, Issue 183.
Ailleurs, CLAM Magazine, Issue 20 Spring 2010.
Geoff Manaugh, “A User’s Guide to New York City pt. 2: Street Vendor Guide”, “A User’s Guide to New York City pt. 1: Tenants’ Right Flash Cards”, BLDGBLOG, Dec 2009.
Jan Middendorp, ”Infographics—Myth and Meaning,” TYPO Magazine, Issue 35 Spring 2009.
Saki Knafo, “Visual Aids for the Pushcart World,” The New York Times, Apr 2009.



Francoise Hardy

Space Oddity
David Bowie

Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time
The Delfonics

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Perfect Day
Lou Reed

Angor Wat Theme Finale
Shigeru Umebayashi (from the film In the Mood for Love)

Je t’aime… moi non plus
Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin

Farewell / Goodbye

Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása
Sigur Ros

Stan Getz

At Last
Etta James

The Chase
Giorgio Moroder


The Middle Passage
James Hollis

Just Kids
Patti Smith

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
Chris Ware

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez

White Noise
Don DeLillo

A Little History of the World
E.H. Gombrich

The Diary of Anaïs Nin
Anaïs Nin

J.G. Ballard

Devil in the White City
Erik Larson

Understanding Comics
Scott McCloud

Tibor Kalman, Perverse Optimist
Peter Hall, ed.

The Little Prince
Antoine Saint-Exupery


In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar Wai

Blade Runner
Ridley Scott

The City of Lost Children
Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro

Mulholland Drive
David Lynch

Rear Window
Alfred Hitchcock

Black Orpheus
Marcel Camus

Lost in Translation
Sofia Coppola

The Prestige
Christopher Nolan

The English Patient
Anthony Minghella

Carl Sagan

New York: A Documentary Film
Ric Burns

Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven



This site was designed by Candy Chang using WordPress. It is hosted by Media Temple.