Looking for Love Again

Fairbanks, AK

Interactive public art project that transformed the vacant Polaris Building high-rise in Fairbanks into an emotional beacon for residents to share their memories of and hopes for the building. Project included a three-story sign and chalkboards at the sidewalk level. Responses were used by the developer and the downtown development associations to inform next steps. By drawing attention to the neglected building and providing residents with a platform to share, the project explores the impact that buildings have on our lives and how they can become meaningful again. Commissioned by The Alaska Design Forum.

2011, Fairbanks, AK. Acrylic on industrial fabric, chalkboards, wood, spray paint, chalk, abandoned high-rise. 68’ x 36′ sign, 30’ x 10’ chalkboards. Project coordination by David Hayden. Project assistance by Mike Hondel. Installation assistance by Bernie Baecker, Carol Hayden, Sean Hering, Kate Incarnato, Galen Lott, Dustin Miller, Jessica Nelson, Amy Nordrum, Ian Oleson, Sheri Oleson, Pat Rivera, Jack Schmid, Trent Schoenemann, Sue Sprinkle, Dave van den Berg, and Jared van deer Weele.

Within this space, themes already emerged. For memories:

Memories of the Tiki Bar on the top floor

Ghost story of room 303

Themes for hopes:

Desire for a grocery store

Desire for an Indian restaurant

Desire for modern apartments downtown

Part of the team. Photo by resident

Photos of the process:

Photo by Carol Hayden

Photo by David Hayden

Project coordinator David Hayden. Photo by resident

Photos by Candy Chang unless credited otherwise. You have permission to use above photos for publicity about this project.


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