When redeveloping parts of cities one of the more daunting tasks is determining what the community needs. A lot of work goes into research and analysis, but Candy seems to have found a very simple way to figure it out, in addition to fostering the ever elusive ‘sense of community.’ This project originally began in New Orleans and was inspired by vacant storefronts.
“Combining street art and urban planning, Candy created fill-in-the-blank stickers that say “I wish this was ____.” With support from the Ethnographic Terminalia exhibit, she placed boxes of free stickers in businesses around the city and posted grids of blank stickers and a permanent marker on vacant storefronts to invite passersby to write their thoughts. The stickers are vinyl and they can be easily removed without damaging property. Responses ranged from the functional to the poetic: I wish this was… a butcher shop, a community garden, a bike rack, an affordable farmer’s market, an Ethiopian restaurant, a place to sit and talk, Brad Pitt’s house, real soul food, a dancing school, full of nymphomaniacs with PhDs, a source of tasty healthy food I could afford, my art gallery, a bike shop, a taco stand, Heaven. It’s a fun, low-barrier tool to provide civic input onsite, and the responses reflect the hopes, dreams, and colorful imaginations of different neighborhoods.”