Rachel Brown: Disordered

Disordered: Conversations about mental health and society

We’ve got issues, and they’re connected. Disordered is a collaborative, participatory street art project designed to destigmatize mental health challenges like depression and anxiety, and reframe health as a societal issue. The project takes the form of conversations, stickers, signs, and murals in public spaces around New York City. It pushes ideas about how our history, culture, political, and economic systems affect our health in order to inspire personal, social and political transformations.


I started the project by forming a steering group of about 20 people called The Disordered Project Team. Members include: Teo Altomare, Zoya Baker, Dawn Chow, Luke Crane, Cristian Fleming, Matthew Fricano, Julie Gaynin, Noa Ginzburg, Kelly Haran, Esneider Huasipungo, Selina Josephs, Anastasia Krylova, Taylor Kuhn, Leigh, Will Linn, Rajah Marcelo, Aarón Montoya-Moraga, Patricia Silva, Candace Thompson, and Claudia Zamora.

Pop-up Installations

Through the late spring and summer of 2017, the Disordered Project Team and I designed a system for public engagement. We then held three pop-up installations in public parks in September 2017, during which over 100 people talked to us, took a sticker, made a paper sign, or added a thought to a sharing board. We distributed over 100 stickers at this time.

Metal Signs & Vinyl Stickers

After the pop-ups, we chose the strongest and most provocative thoughts from the public participation to reproduce on metal signs and vinyl stickers. Over 30 metal signs were installed in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick and Astoria. Many of the signs remain on the streets over three years later. 1500 vinyl stickers were printed as an in-kind donation to the project and have been liberally affixed and distributed to all who wish to participate in spreading community-sourced messages about mental health and society.


In the spring of 2018, we painted a 10' x 13' mural in the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria. It was on 30th Avenue, between Welling Ct. and Main Ave. for one year.

Mexico 2019

In June of 2019, I took Disordered to Mexico City as part of Encuentro: The World Inside Out. I translated some of the original prompts into Spanish and did a pop-up installation in a busy bus stop, holding conversations with many people who stopped to participate.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about the project, you can read my thesis paper here, or feel free to reach out via email.

Disordered is an action against invisibility and shame, and an effort to build community around our shared social and political struggles.

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