Photo by Kristina Kassem

Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang creates work that examines the dynamics between society and the psyche, the threshold between isolation and community, and the ways shared places can cultivate reflection, perspective, and kinship among strangers. She is interested in the relationship between public space and mental health, the tension between individual liberty and social cohesion, and a city that exposes and fosters the complexity of the individual and collective psyche.

With a background in urban planning, Chang worked with communities in Nairobi, New York, Helsinki, New Orleans, Vancouver, and Johannesburg, where she observed universal challenges of the democratic commons. She created interactive experiments in the public realm to explore more inclusive forms of community dialogue. After struggling with grief and depression, she channeled her emotional questions into her public work. Thanks to passionate people around the world, her participatory public art project Before I Die has been recreated in over 2,000 cities and over 70 countries, including China, Iraq, Argentina, Russia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. Her recent work, The Atlas of Tomorrow, draws upon Carl Jung, the Surrealists, and the I Ching to transform a building into a device for philosophical reflection. Her most recent work, Grief is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed, uses the mythology of the Minotaur to examine how our public spaces can better address our relationship with grief as a community.

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, Tony Goldman Visionary Artist Award, 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 Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University, as well as a B.S. in Architecture and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan. She lives in New Orleans.



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


By the People: Designing a Better America, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY
The Atlas of Tomorrow, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA
3 Experiments in the City by Candy Chang, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece
Grief is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed, Lakkos Artist Residency, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Réver(cité), Cité de l’architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris, France
Confessions, Ў Gallery of Contemporary Art, Minsk, Belarus
Before I Die, Pen and Brush Gallery, New York, NY
The Past and The Future: Looking Back, Now and Forward, New York Public Library, New York, NY

She Dreamed of a Place Called Fat City, Arts Council of New Orleans & Fat City Friends, New Orleans, LA
Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s – Now exhibition, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA
Before I Die, Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery, Palm Desert, CA

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


  • Tony Goldman Visionary Artist Award (2016)
  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Humanities Award (2016)
  • 40 under 40, Design in the 21st Century, Impact Design Hub (2016)
  • Lakkos Artist Residency, Heraklion, Crete, Greece (2016)
  • 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)


Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
C.G. Jung Society of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
4GN Design Congress, Bogota, Columbia
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Chicago, IL
Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

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

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

Stay in Touch

Candy Chang

Before I Die


Stay posted on Candy Chang’s upcoming work:



The Middle Passage
James Hollis

Einstein’s Dreams
Alan Lightman

J.G. Ballard

The Red Book
Carl Jung

White Noise
Don DeLillo

The Strange Case of Rachel K
Rachel Kushner

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

Just Kids
Patti Smith

The Diary of Anaïs Nin
Anaïs Nin

Devil in the White City
Erik Larson

A New History of Photography
Michel Frizot, 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

The Century of the Self
Adam Curtis

Mulholland Drive
David Lynch

8 1/2
Federico Fellini

Rear Window
Alfred Hitchcock

Denis Villeneuve

New York: A Documentary Film
Ric Burns

Lost in Translation
Sofia Coppola

The Prestige
Christopher Nolan

Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven

Carl Sagan



Indoor Swimming at the Space Station

Sister Part 1
Cliff Martinez

A Trop Répéter Bien
Alice Dona

Angor Wat Finale
Michael Galasso, Shigeru Umebayashi

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Aphex Twin

Some Velvet Morning
Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra

Man Machine

Perfect Day
Lou Reed

Francoise Hardy

Be Brave
Tropic of Cancer

The Chase
Giorgio Moroder