UCLA Commemorates World Health Day with Student-Designed “Expanding Dialogue” Interactive Art Installation

March 30, 2017
Adding to the Expanding Dialogue piece at UCLA.
Photo by Cynthia Lee

UCLA is proud to join others across the world to raise awareness for depression on April 7, 2017, in commemoration of World Health Day. This year’s World Health Day, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), is focused on mobilizing action on depression with the theme “Depression: Let’s Talk“.

In the week leading up to World Health Day, in a work commissioned by the Depression Grand Challenge, UCLA fosters discussion about depression by way of an interactive art installation.

About the Expanding Dialogue Installation

The interactive art installation, named Expanding Dialogue, serves as a physical manifestation of conversation at UCLA as it relates to and reflects on the topic of depression and mental health. The piece is named Expanding Dialogue because it invites passersby to physically add to the conversation piece-by-piece. As they share their thoughts in written or sketch form on pieces of corrugated plastic available on site, participants are then welcome to fit their pieces into the installation, wherever they choose.

To facilitate the creative process, colored pens, prompts and haiku tips are available on site.  The work of art will grow over the week and ultimately, Expanding Dialogue will represent the participants’ commentary on depression–highlighting the importance of discussing mental health and supporting each other in our community, well beyond World Health Day.

Why WHO focused on “Talk” in its Campaign about Depression

According to WHO, the focus of talking about depression is the central theme for this year’s World Health Day because doing so is a critical component of recovery. In addition, talking about depression helps breaks down the associated stigma and, in turn, encourages those experiencing depression to seek help and treatment. UCLA has planned a number of activities leading up to World Health Day.

UCLA Activities Related to World Health Day 2017 & Resources for the Campus Community

UCLA has planned a number of activities leading up to World Health Day. For a full list of planned activities, please refer to UCLA Activities Related to World Health Day 2017. For campus resources, please visit Depression & Anxiety Resources for the UCLA Community.


Additional coverage on the Depression Grand Challenge  “Expanding Dialogue” Interactive Art Installation:

UCLA opens up and expands conversation on campus about depression UCLA Newsroom, 03 April 2017


About the Artists

The Expanding Dialogue installation was created by UCLA Design and Media Arts Graduate Student, Kristin McWharter (kristinmcwharter.com), with assistance from Design and Media Arts Junior, Miller Klitsner (http://cargocollective.com/millerklitsner).