(Posted September 29, 2014)

Candy Chang, an artist-designer-urban planner
Candy Chang, an artist-designer-urban planner

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Candy Chang, an artist-designer-urban planner who specializes in creating projects encouraging people to engage in and within public spaces, will speak at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

The talk is free and open to the public. The lecture is funded by the Will Judy Lectureship.

Chang is best known for simple, but effectively designed mass communication events such as the "Before I Die" project, where she stenciled the incomplete phrase "Before I die, I want to _____" onto a chalkboard wall. The blank space inspired thousands of passers-by to share their dreams, hopes and aspirations with the public.

Juniata has set up its own "Before I Die" wall in Detwiler Plaza in front of the quad entrance to the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center. Each day dozens of students have written down their innermost thoughts. When the blackboard is full, the writings are erased and more students are encouraged to write.

Chang started the "Before I Die " project in New Orleans and to date there are 425 Before I Die walls across the United States and internationally. Chang explains that there are projects in 25 languages in over 60 countries, including Japan, Iraq and Kazakhstan.

She stenciled the incomplete phrase "Before I die, I want to _____" onto a chalkboard wall. The blank space inspired thousands of passers-by to share their dreams, hopes and aspirations with the public.

In 2013, she published "Before I Die," a book outlining the mission behind the walls. The book featured photos of many of the wall projects and the personal stories of some of the people who wrote messages. Although "Before I Die" has gone viral, Chang has created other projects focused on personal interactions in cities.

She was one of six urban experts designated as a community advocate to take part in the 2012 TED project, "The City 2.0." Chang was named a Senior Fellow at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) for 2011 to 2012.

Chang also is the co-founder of Neighborland.com, a website devoted to sharing suggestions about improving public spaces and the quality of life within cities. The website offers digital tools to help residents start working on the changes they've suggested and offers links to bring projects to the attention of policymakers.

Chang also has a thriving career as a designer, exhibiting her work at the national Design Triennial and New York's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum. She also has created public art commissions for civic agencies, airports and creative organizations. The magazine Fast Company named her an Emerging Master of Design.

She previously worked as an art director at the New York Times and was named a 2011 Tulane/Rockefeller Foundation Urban Innovation Fellow.

Chang earned a bachelor's degree in architecture and a bachelor's degree in graphic design from the University of Michigan. She went on to earn a master's degree in urban planning from Columbia University.
Lakewood, Co.

Juniata College is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, specializing in experiential learning, science research and education, and personal attention for all students. Juniata offers a college experience that emphasizes a student-alumni-faculty community extending beyond graduation.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.