PHOTOS FROM IWISHTHISWAS.COM
Re-imagine Atlanta, one sticker at a time...
Inspired by the New Orleans project I Wish This Was that invited local residents to tag the many vacant storefronts in their neighborhoods with their ideas & wants for the community. These images are from NOLA with ATL to come.
We're stocked up on 'I Wish This Was' stickers and we're asking residents to put their mark on the streets of Atlanta. If interested in participating, you can:
  • As an individual, request free stickers to put up wherever you'd like
  • As a business, request free stickers to put on display for others to take
  • As an organization, get your group involved in the project
  • Email us photos of stickers around Atlanta!
  • Upload your stickers directly to the map using Instagram and the hashtag #iwishthiswas (make sure geotagging is turned on)

HISTORY

I Wish This Was began in New Orleans in November 2010. It was inspired by vacant storefronts. There are a lot of them where the project's creator, Candy Chang, lives in New Orleans. There are also a lot of people who need things, including a full-service grocery store. What if we could easily voice what we want, where we want it? How can we influence the businesses and services in our neighborhoods?

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.

The project continues on today and has expanded to cities around the world. Stickers are still posted across New Orleans and are available for purchase online. The vinyl material ensures that future business owners can easily remove them, and slitted backs make it easy to peel and apply. A book is in the works - please send your photos! Thanks to the Urban Innovation Fellowship from Tulane University and the Rockefeller Foundation, Candy and her colleagues are also developing an online tool called Neighborland that takes this idea a few steps further to help people come together and shape the development of their neighborhoods.

P.S. A note to those concerned about the subjunctive mood (I wish this was / I wish this were)