With all due respect to my chosen profession,  I think that all too often, we urbanists and designers (and I include myself here!) can come across as stuffy, jargon-spouting bores. I think more often than not, we end up alienating the masses in our discourse rather than including them, which should be the central aim of all urbanism and design discourse. This has been one of my pet peeves over the last few years, and if you get me started, I’ll happily provide you with a 30 minute rant on the topic.

However, that won’t be today, because I have chanced upon Candy Chang’s website.

Candy Chang is an artist, an architect and urban planner based in the US. She believes in emotional engagement as a device for generating collective wisdom about our urban spaces, and she uses a combination of street art, philosophy and social activism to generate this discussion and new strategies for public space.

I have come across discrete initiatives by Candy Change before, but I was delighted when I came across her website, which details out the vast expanse and brilliance of her projects.

(Click on the images for a detailed description of each project. All images copyright Candy Chang and The Civic Centre).
Before I Die
Tenants' Rights Flash Cards
Sidewalk Psychiatry

What I love about Chang’s work is that it is essentially rooted in simplicity, “often using simple analogue tools like stickers, stencils, and chalk”.

Post-It Notes for Neighbors
Community Chalkboards

Little wonder then that she has been so successful, and that her work has spread across the globe to places like South Africa, Malaysia, Finland, Mexico, Kenya, and Kazakhstan. Visit her website for a fascinating journey through her work.

And here’s to many more Candy Changs in the profession.

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