Reimagining the World One Voice at a Time

In mid-September, a black chalkboard titled “Before I die…” appeared in the middle of Juniata’s campus, and within only a few short hours, the board was bursting with colorful hopes, ideas, wishes, and sorrows. The Juniata community had been transformed by this anonymous journal of dreams. But where did this chalkboard come from? That was a question only to be answered by the creator of the project herself…  


On Thursday, Oct. 2, Taiwanese-American artist and Senior Ted Fellow Candy Chang presented at the College about her Before I Die project as well as many other projects in the hopes of inspiring us to reflect on our communities and on ourselves.  

With degrees in architecture, graphic design and urban planning, it’s hard to believe that Chang, now in her 30s, has had only two years of full-time job experience. However, her achievements have come from following her passions. She said, “You don’t need to compartmentalize your work from the rest of your life. Make your own discipline out of your own life experiences and interests.” And that is exactly what she has done. 

After losing someone she loved, Candy Chang first began the Before I Die project so as to reduce social alienation in a New Orleans neighborhood by evoking “emotional introspection in a public realm,” but this small project transformed into something much larger. To this day, over 525 walls have been created in over 70 countries and over 35 languages, and people nationwide are reimagining the world one voice at a time. 

To read Candy Chang’s biography and to learn more about her various projects, visit her website at Her book, Before I Die, is also available for purchase.