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2017 Commencement Ceremony, Featuring Candy Chang

April 18, 2017

The 2017 Stamps Commencement celebration will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the North Campus Research Complex, Building 18.  The Stamps ceremony takes place after the 10 am Central Campus Spring Commencement at Michigan Stadium.  The celebration includes short speeches by graduating undergraduate and graduate students and a commencement address by artist Candy Chang (BFA ‘01).  Chang will also be honored with a U-M Bicentennial Alumni Award — a special 200th-anniversary initiative — at the University Commencement ceremony.


Candy Chang

Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang creates work that examines the dynamics between society and the psyche, the threshold between isolation and community, and the ways shared places can cultivate reflection, perspective, and kinship. She is interested in the relationship between public space and mental health, the tension between individual liberty and social cohesion, and a city that exposes and fosters the complexity of the individual and collective psyche.

With a background in urban planning, Chang worked with communities in Nairobi, New York, Helsinki, New Orleans, Vancouver, and Johannesburg, where she observed universal challenges of the democratic commons. She created interactive experiments in the public realm to explore more inclusive forms of community dialogue. After struggling with grief and depression, she channeled her emotional questions into her public work. Thanks to passionate people around the world, her participatory public art project Before I Die has been created in over 2,000 cities and over 70 countries, including China, Iraq, Argentina, Russia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. Her recent work, The Atlas of Tomorrow, draws upon Carl Jung, the Surrealists, and the I Ching to transform a building into a device for philosophical reflection. Her most recent work, Grief is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed, uses the mythology of the Minotaur to examine how our public spaces can better address our relationship with grief as a community.

Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, New Museum, Tate Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She is a recipient of the TED Senior Fellowship, Tulane University Urban Innovation Fellowship, Tony Goldman Visionary Artist Award, and Art Production Fund Artist Residency. She was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design by Impact Design Hub, a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She has been the keynote speaker at events including the Creativity World Forum, American Planning Association National Conference, and the Global Health Summit. She received a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University, as well as a B.S. in Architecture and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan. She lives in New Orleans.

Stamps School of Art & Design Commencement
April 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm
North Campus Research Complex (NCRC)
2800 Plymouth Road, Building 18