“College students spend so much time being college students that sometimes it seems as though that is the sole factor that defines you,” Beach writes. “In the blur of finding the time to finish your 10-page psychology paper, prepare for your politics midterm, and complete your organic chemistry lab, it is easy to forget about what you want most out of life.” She says that the walls bring students together to revel in their dreams and those of others around them—reinforcing a sense of community and showcasing how similar we all are.
Improving public spaces is a driving force behind much of Chang's work. “With more ways to share our hopes, fears, and stories in public space,” she says in the article, “the people around us can not only help us make better places, they can help us lead better lives.” When she presents her projects and ideas for designing public spaces on stage, she speaks with passion and optimism about how simple objects can transform our communities. Whether its in a keynote, her Before I Die initiative, or her newest endeavor, Neighborland.com, Chang helps us rediscover what we want out of life—and how our collective wisdom can help us achieve it.