I want Candy!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I have an addictive personality. It is hereditary. My grandfather had it. My father holds on to the largest collection of crap under the sun and the problem is compounded by my mothers affinity for shoes, pots, what-ya-ma-callits and doohickeys. 

I try (my darndest) to stray away from this awful habit. I am a bit of a neat freak, so luckily the penance of collecting crap has not spread to my household. HOWEVER (I was taught in school that however is a synonym for but-*cough*), I collect people. I am not making an excuse by using the word but, by the way. I really do collect people.

I will quite willingly admit that I like humans. I tend to stick to the clever, inspirational, imaginative, ambitious, driven one's the most. By the way, if my friendship with you has ever been severed, it was possibly attributed to your lack of the above mentioned characteristics. :P

Right, so the point I was trying to make was that I in a way collect people. I am extremely blessed, in that my good friends are all exceptional and talented in some way or another. Perhaps it's a bad way to make friends, but I don't generally socialize with nogetters. Sorry nogetters, please read my blog, it's not you, it's me. 

So one way I like to watch amazing people, in the same morbid fascination that some people watch the migration of moose on the Discovery channel whilst slurping on a Coke, is by way of TED. TED is not a person (although I do like people like I have said before). 

TED stands for TECHNOLOGY, ENTERTAINMENT and DESIGN. I guess if you've visited my blog for a while now, you would've learnt that those three things generally fascinate me. You can learn more about TED right here. TED is a place where anyone and everyone, that is inspirational can use a platform to spread their passion, message and story. Its tag line is Ideas Worth Spreading. Therein lies the difference. It is founded on remarkable people spreading their riveting ideas.

Last year whilst I was perusing one of the MANY TED videos on the Internet, I came across a young woman called Candy Chang. I cannot aptly describe the awesomeness that is Candy in my own words, so I have stolen this illegally off her website. Sorry Candy for plagiarizing your site:

Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer, and urban planner who likes to make cities more comfortable for people. She’s the co-founder of Civic Center, an urban design studio where she combines architecture, graphic design, and urban planning to make thoughtful public spaces and communication tools for everyday issues of city life. She’s passionate about redefining the ways we use public space to share information important to our neighborhoods and to our individual well-being.
She’s a 2011 TED Senior Fellow and has a B.S. in Architecture, a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University. After co-founding design firm & record label Red Antenna in New York City, she collaborated with community organizations on urban design projects in New YorkNairobiVancouverNew Orleans, and Johannesburg. She was an art director at The New York Times and a design researcher atNokia. She was also a project leader for Global Studio and a fellow at theSpatial Information Design Lab. She has performed electro in New York, Detroit, and Grenoble and her work has been exhibited at the National Design Museum, Koltsovo International Airport, and many humble sidewalks.
Her parents immigrated from Taiwan to the U.S. and she grew up in the cornfields of Ohio and beyond. After years in NYC and Helsinki, she now lives in New Orleans where she’s loving porches, palm trees, and ceiling fans while working on public art projects, big and small. She believes that one of the greatest things in life is spending time in public places with the people you love. She also believes that these spaces can better serve the people who live, work, and play in them.

In plain English. Candy is amazing! It is really hard to find a decent female role model in society that contributes a positive change, works hard and does so stylishly. Candy is my role model. You can visit Candy's website right her at: http://candychang.com/

One day when I am famous, I hope to be like Candy. I would also love to be a TED fellow and speak to people about my passion and work.

Candy's most recent project is called "Before I Die". Again, I have stolen this off her site which you should visit to understand the full extent of the Candyness:

With a lot of support from old and new friends, I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard with grids of the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” Residents can fill in the blank and remember what is important to them in life. It’s also about turning a neglected space into a constructive one where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. It turns out this entire process (including official approval from many entities) has been a great lesson, experience, and project in itself – more on that later. If you’re in New Orleans, stop by the corner of Marigny and Burgundy (900 Marigny St) to add your thoughts to the wall and see what matters most to your neighbors. It’s a question that has changed me in the last year, and I believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what’s important to us. The responses and stories from passersby while we were installing it have already hit me hard in the heart. More installations to come. Huge thanks to Kristina Kassem, Alan Williams, Cory Klemmer, Anamaria Vizcaino, James Reeves, Alex Vialou, and Gary Hustwit for installation assistance and many others for support along the way! Approximately 41′ x 8′. Chalkboard paint, spray paint, chalk, 2011. Concurrently installed in East/West Galleries.

Another project Candy has worked on recently is a sticker project called "I wish this was":
I WISH THIS WAS vinyl stickers are now available for purchase online! Check out the new project site and buy them here. These thick, high-quality vinyl stickers will ensure that future business owners can easily remove them without leaving a mark (vs. the gnarly residue of paper stickers). Spread the love to your neighborhood and beyond. And let us know what you do with them. All proceeds will greatly help me to keep on keepin’ on and make more neighborhood projects in public space.

Candy is the most inspirational, wonderful person I can think of. She and her "Before I Die" project have received a lot of hoohaa in the following publications lately: TYPO, Wired, GOOD, Brain Pickings, Post Secret, Grist, Design Observer, Times Picayune, NOLA Defender, Howstuffworks, Kid Robot, Case Se and Animal New York.

I wrote Candy a Facebook message last year and she promptly returned my message with the most humble, amazing, heartfelt inspirational message. I consider Candy a friend, one that I am super happy to call a friend and have in my collection of humans I like. 

Follow candy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/candychang
Or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Candy-Chang/720786038

Over and out. 

P.S. I apologize profusely for plagiarizing, I know I will go to hell and have to lie under a fat sweaty man for all eternity because of my actions. Please forgive me. 


v-jenna said...

so inspired right now.

love the public chalkboard, and the idea of shared public space.

need to listen to more TED talks too...

Seed said...

TED is so inspirational! Candy is amazeballs!

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