Photo by Randal Ford for Fast Company
Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang provokes both playful and profound visions for how we can connect, reflect, and nurture the health of our communities. For the past twelve years she has created participatory experiments in the public realm that examine the thresholds between isolation and community, the psychology of civic engagement, and how shared places can cultivate introspection and intimacy. Her work has examined issues from criminal justice and the future of vacant buildings to personal aspirations and anxieties. Projects include a vacant high-rise pleading for love, a confessional sanctuary on the Las Vegas strip, a site-specific fable in an apartment complex, and a public wall about death and aspirations. Her participatory public art project Before I Die has been created in over 1,000 cities and over 70 countries, including Iraq, China, Haiti, Kazakhstan, and South Africa.

With a background in urban planning, Chang worked with communities in Nairobi, New York, Helsinki, New Orleans, Vancouver, and Johannesburg, where she began to question universal limitations of local democracy. She created participatory experiments in public to explore alternative forms of local communication. After struggling with grief, depression, and existential confusion, she channeled her emotional questions into her public work to investigate shared inquiry of the human condition. She is interested in the relationship between public space and mental health, the dynamics between individual liberty and social cohesion, and a city that exposes and fosters the complexity of the human psyche.

Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, New Museum, Tate Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She is a recipient of the TED Senior Fellowship, Tulane University Urban Innovation Fellowship, and Art Production Fund Artist Residency. She was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design by Impact Design Hub, a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She has been the keynote speaker at events including the Creativity World Forum, American Planning Association National Conference, and the Global Health Summit. 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. She lives in New Orleans.


Candy Chang:
For any Before I Die related inquiries, please email here
For speaking inquiries, please contact The Lavin Agency

Before I Die:


The Big I Ching, Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA
The Prosthetics Society, Fine Acts Foundation, traveling exhibition

Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s – Now exhibition, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA
She Dreamed of a Place Called Fat City, Arts Council of New Orleans & Fat City Friends, New Orleans, LA

Exhibit BE, Prospect 3 satellite exhibition, New Orleans, LA
Imago Mundi, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Design for Social Impact, Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
The Candy Chang Initiative, Union Internationale des Architectes, Durban, South Africa
Bankside Transformed, Merge Festival, Tate Modern, London, UK
ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI
Design for Social Impact, Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Spontaneous Interventions, Governors Island, New York, NY
Geographies of Change, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy

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

Detour Design Renegade, Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, Hong Kong
Spontaneous Interventions, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy
Past Futures, Present, Futures, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, NY
Death: The Southbank Centre’s Festival for the Living, Southbank Centre, London, UK
Confessions, Art Production Fund, Las Vegas, NV
Iconic Signage Project, Arts Council of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
The City Speaks Exhibition, Museum of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Mix(Cité), La Cité de L’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris, France
Before I Die, Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV

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

National Design Triennial, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY
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
Poster4Tomorrow, Various cities

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

Conflux Festival, Brooklyn, NY
MC2, Maison de la culture de Grenoble, Grenoble, France


Puffin Foundation Grant (2015)
Ogden Museum Magnolia Ball Honoree (2015)
Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation Color Our World Award (2014)
AIGA 100 Years of Design Showcase (2014)
Louisiana’s Top 10 Contemporary Artists, Culture Trip (2014)
Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design, Impact Design Hub (2013)
The Creativity 50, Advertising Age (2013)
The Good 100, GOOD Magazine (2013)
Burning Man Award of Excellence (2013)
World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2012)
Art Production Fund Artist-in-Residence, The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV (2012)
Maryland Institute College of Art Samson Feldman Artist-in-Residence (2012)
TED Senior Fellow (2011)
Black Rock Arts Foundation Grant Recipient (2011)
Tulane University/Rockefeller Foundation Urban Innovation Fellow (2011)
Alaska Design Forum Artist-in-Residence (2011)
“Live Your Best Life” Local Hero, Oprah Magazine (2011)
Top 11 Visual Artists in New Orleans, NOLA Defender (2011)
European Capital of Culture Flux Aura/Artist as Neighbour Artist-in-Residence, Turku, Finland (2010)
Fast Company Emerging Master of Design (2010)
TED Global Fellow (2009)
Center for Urban Pedagogy Making Policy Public Fellow, New York (2008)
Sappi Ideas That Matter Grant Recipient (2008)
Columbia University Urban Planning Award for Outstanding Contribution to Leadership in Planning Education (2007)
Global Studio Fellow, Johannesburg, South Africa (2007)
Infrastructure and Poverty Action Lab Fellow (2007)
Global Studio Fellow, Vancouver, Canada (2006)
Spatial Information Design Lab Fellow, New Orleans (2006)


We The City Conference, Vancouver, Canada
Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, GA
City of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
California Conference for Women, Santa Clara, CA
International Design Association, Kohler, WI

American Planning Association National Conference, Atlanta, GA
Vivid Sydney Festival, Sydney, Australia
Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference, Detroit, MI
Pennsylvania Conference for Women, Philadelphia, PA
New Mexico Municipal League, Albuquerque, NM

World Education Congress, Las Vegas, NV
Center for Architecture, New York, NY
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
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 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

For speaking inquiries, please contact The Lavin Agency.


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


Nick Stillman, “Storytelling in the Streets: An Interview with Candy Chang.” Pelican Bomb, Nov 5, 2015.
“Candy Chang: Social Design in Arts and Letters,” DMI:Review, Summer 2014, Vol. 25, Issue 2, p. 40-41.
Diego Cortez, Imago Mundi (Eds.), Reparation: Contemporary Artists from New Orleans, Fabrica 2014, p. 90-91.
Della Hasselle, “Statement Art: 5-Hour Exhibit Seeks to Transform Vision of Graffiti,” The New Orleans Advocate, 17 Nov 2014: p. 1B-2B.
David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz, Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success, Harper Wave 2014, p. 108-111, 113-114, 117, 204.
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

Angor Wat Finale
Michael Galasso, Shigeru Umebayashi (from the film In the Mood for Love)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Sister Part 1
Cliff Martinez

Aphex Twin

My Face

Indoor Swimming at the Space Station

An Ending (Ascent)
Brian Eno

Perfect Day
Lou Reed

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

Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time
The Delfonics

The Chase
Giorgio Moroder


The Middle Passage
James Hollis

J.G. Ballard

Just Kids
Patti Smith

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
Chris Ware

White Noise
Don DeLillo

A Little History of the World
E.H. Gombrich

The Little Prince
Antoine Saint-Exupery

The Diary of Anaïs Nin
Anaïs Nin

Devil in the White City
Erik Larson

Understanding Comics
Scott McCloud

The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age
K.G. Pontus Hulten, ed. Museum of Modern Art, 1968

A New History of Photography
Michel Frizot, ed.


In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar Wai

8 1/2
Federico Fellini

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

New York: A Documentary Film
Ric Burns

Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven

Carl Sagan



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