Abandoned House Becomes 'Before I Die' Wall of Dreams (Photos)

photo Before I Die House New Orleans candy chang

Photos via candychang.com and Civic Center.

This wall asks a question. What's important to you? What do you want to do before you die? What's on your bucket list? In New Orleans, an abandoned house has been converted into a community art project, harnessing the power of crowds without the electricity of computer-based social networking. What would you write on the "Before I Die" wall? Before I die, I want to ... The project is essentially an old, graffiti-marked structure recycled into a big chalkboard. Some folks who've signed it are thinking of actions to help the planet. On second thought, maybe this does use the electricity of social networking, minus the electrons.

The "Before I Die" wall is a creation of Candy Chang, "a public installation artist, designer, urban planner, and co-founder of Civic Center who likes to make cities more comfortable for people." The house is in her neighborhood.

As Chang describes it, "Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us."

If you're in NOLA, you'll find this at the corner of Marigny and Burgundy streets. It may not last for long, which is a good thing. The home was recently purchased and will be renovated, Chang reports.

photo blighted house

photo before i die house chalkboard

Some wonder in the comments on Chang's blog if this is an idea that could be carried on to other states, and communities. Sure. Unfortunately, there are plenty of abandoned buildings to go around. Chang says she's working on a kit, how-to guide and stencils for other communities.

photo before i die i want to make a difference

photo before i die writings entries

photo before i die chalk new orleans house

When the wall is filled with responses, it begins again with a clean slate. Chang plans to eventually compile the entries into a book --- a crowd-sourced compendium of people's dreams and to-do lists. What's on yours? It might be worth it to mark off a few entries this year, or month. Life can be short.

Chang, a TED fellow, has posted a side-scrolling photo strip, too. Check it out.

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