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Architecture Student Turns Ward Map Into Jigsaw Puzzle

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Student Turns Ward Map Into Jigsaw Puzzle

Andrew Bayley

Andrew Bayley's Ward Map puzzle

Last week, Ward Room looked at the new ward map and saw a Flash Gordon death ray gun, an Easter Island stone head and the Hindu god Ganesh. Andrew Bayley, an architecture grad student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, looked at the map and saw…a jigsaw puzzle.

Bayley loaded the map into a computerized laser-cutting program. An hour later, he had this beautiful 50-piece Baltic birch plywood puzzle. It’s fitting to make a toy out of the ward map, Bayley believes, because the aldermen who designed it treated the city like a toy.

“You look at a zip code map, or a census map, and they make sense geographically,” Bayley told Ward Room. “You look at a political map, and they don’t make senses geographically. It just exposes how much the aldermen are worried about self-preservation.”

On a personal level, Bayley was happy with the ward re-map, because his home will move from Ald. Walter Burnett’s 27th Ward to Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno’s 1st Ward (“a big improvement,” he said.)

But he believes that the city’s ward map should be based more closely on the map of 77 community areas, to ensure that neighborhoods aren’t split up among several aldermen, or that one alderman represents several neighborhoods -- as happened with the 2nd Ward, which runs from the Gold Coast, through Lincoln Park and Bucktown, before finally ending in Ukrainian Village. (That pixilated ward took longer than usual for the machine to cut, since it turns nearly every block.)

Bayley doesn’t list a price for his jigsaw puzzle, but he’ll gladly negotiate one. He’ll even make you a cardboard puzzle.

"It wouldn’t hold up nearly as well” as wood, he said, “but how long do you need it to last? Ten years, or until there’s a lawsuit.”  

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