Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn have a passion for urban transformation. Both grew up steeped in architectural theory and both have fathers or uncles who are noted urban planners in Holland. Yet this Dutch artist duo-who operate under the moniker Haas&Hahn-affect change not through books and discourse, but through exploring other cultures on the ground, whether it be in the streets of North Philadelphia, favelas of Rio de Janeiro or shantytowns in Haiti. Working in underserved communities, they mobilize locals to reinvent their own neighborhood through extraordinary art projects of massive scale. Their work in Brazil spawned sister projects worldwide and in 2011 the duo moved to North Philadelphia to revitalize a downtrodden commercial strip by mobilizing local youth to paint the facades of buildings a rainbow of riotous color. They have been invited to present their work at many occasions, ranging from a show at the United Nations Head Quarters to a recent talk for TED Global. As they work on a multitude of projects, they travel to paint and explore communities worldwide. A successful crowdfunding campaign enabled their recent return to Rio to continue their dream: to organize community members to paint an entire favela hill.

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