Report of the President – January 2012
Before and After

Hello, my name is...
Urban planning meets street art in innovative project.

Beguiling in their simplicity, the fill-in-the-blank stickers are a powerful medium for civic expression.

When public installation artist Candy Chang moved into New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood in summer 2010, she was surprised by the number of vacant storefronts in the otherwise vibrant residential district. That incongruity was the inspiration for "I Wish This Was," a project that Chang describes as "a kind of love child of urban planning and street art."

Through the project, Chang, who was named a Tulane Urban Innovation Fellow in February 2011, used what she calls a "no-tech format" to give residents increased input and influence in the development of the neighborhood.

Copying the format of the "Hello, my name is…" stickers that are ubiquitous at professional conferences, she designed fill-in-the-blank labels with the words "I wish this was" and distributed thousands throughout the neighborhood.

The stickers began to turn up on the facades of abandoned and blighted properties around town as residents filled in the blanks to express their hopes and dreams for future development. Typical answers included "a grocery," "a community garden," "a butcher shop," and "a taco stand," though Chang admits delight in offbeat answers such as "Heaven," and "Brad Pitt's house."

twittercandychang Candy Chang

I'm a Tulane/ Rockefeller Urban Innovation Challenge Fellow yay! A happy team excited for NOLA neighborhood power
We can make the world a better place.
©2012 Office of Tulane University President Scott Cowen