Looking for Love Again

High-rise memories and hopes

Abandoned buildings have become such a common sight that they often slip quietly into the backdrop of our cities like an accepted part of our landscape. Looking for Love Again is a participatory public installation that renews attention to an abandoned high-rise in downtown Fairbanks, AK to celebrate its past and future. Chang draped a four-story sign on the Polaris Building to transform it into an emotional beacon pleading for love. Chalkboards at the street level, as well as an accompanying website, invited people to share their memories of the building and their hopes for its future. Commissioned by the Alaska Design Forum, feedback from the project was used by the developer and the downtown association to inform next steps. By drawing emotional 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.

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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