The City Wishes

“I Wish This Was…” say these stickers, inviting people to write down their needs or wishes and to paste them wherever they want.

This is a project of Candy Chang, a designer based in New Orleans, who decided to give voice to citizens and to try to address the problem of vacant storefronts and blighted houses around the city. The free stickers could be found in local stores, bars and book shops, with the purpose to ‘hack’ the streets in an unaggressive, reversible way, as they could be easily removed without damaging property.

The project involved people in their daily city life and provides “a funny, low-barrier tool for citizens to provide civic input on-site. (…) The responses reflect the hopes, dreams, and colorful imaginations of different neighborhoods”. People were also invited to add pictures of their creations to a Flickr pool in order to create a photo album of the project and to share everyone’s thoughts with the community.

This is not the first project made by the artist that tries to stimulate people to express themselves and to empower communities — in the same line there is a pair of other works. The first one is ‘Post-It Notes for Neighbors’, an interactive installation where people were welcome to anonymously share information about their living situation, filling blank stickers that covered a storefront window. This installation, as the artist says, was inspired by another similar project, Illegal Art’s ‘To Do’ in New York City.

The second work is Neighbor Doorknob Hanger, create with the collaboration of GOOD Magazine. The project consisted of a double-sided sign that provides people the possibility to offer things they have or request things they need, expressing two simple messages: “Please disturb”, and “Can I borrow?”. A funny tool that helps citizens to break the ice and get closer to the community. All these projects have the unusual quality of bringing people closer to art and, through art, create a community in the neighborhood. Well done, Candy!