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A picture of Candy Chan

Candy Chan

Urban designer, architect

in architect, designer, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Candy Chan, an NYC-based urban designer, architect, and graphic designer. I am the creator of Project Subway NYC, a project about New York City's subway system, which consists of sketches, photographs, 3-D architectural drawings, and an Instagram component. The project started by being mainly about the visuals, but it has slowly developed into a comprehensive thesis about signage, wayfinding, and infrastructure. The blog chronicles my studies, with an ongoing collection of diagrams, trivia, and more.

What hardware do you use?

My process has two parts: on-site data collection and computer graphic production.

The first part involves me physically going into subway stations and taking notes. (I refer to the physical copy of the NYC subway map on my wall to decide where to go). I usually have with me a backpack, a clipboard, a mechanical pencil, white letter size paper, and a keychain that's also a mini measuring tape. I used to use a Sony NEX-3NL camera for pictures, but have recently switched to iPhone 7 since the quality of the pictures are great and it's one less thing to carry. I read on my Kindle when I am riding the subway.

For the second part I sit at my white work desk from, and I use a Microsoft Surface Book and a Logitech MX-310 wireless mouse. I print things with my Canon MG6800 printer.

And what software?

For drafting, I use AutoCAD for 2D and Rhino for 3D. After I export the line work from Rhino I edit the line weights in Adobe Illustrator and add colors and texture in Adobe Photoshop. The collages on my Instagram are done with Photoshop, in which I crop and resize the pictures, and overlay my hand sketches. The filters are done in Instagram (I use the "Lark" and "Luna" filter most). My website is hosted on

What would be your dream setup?

In an ideal world, I would have a giant empty studio (which is not my home) with wood floors, high ceilings, a giant desk, and multiple large monitors like these. It'd be nice to have a light box for tracing drawings as well as a large format printer for me to test out different print settings. Also my right hand has been hurting from time to time from holding the mouse for too long, so it'd be great to upgrade to an ergonomic mouse!