January 26, 2012

AndrewBayley.net | Irresponsible Architecture

Architecture student Andrew Bayley came up with an illustration of Chicago’s confusing political districts that any graphic artist or political journalist would be proud of: a jigsaw puzzle, with one piece for each of the city’s 50 wards.

Chicago’s wards, literally pieces of a puzzle. (Image used with permission.)

“Just because I have chosen to focus on this pursuit professionally,” he wrote, “does not mean I pay no attention to other things that affect us urban dwellers.”

The puzzle, he wrote, is supposed “to expose how ridiculous the political process is in our town.”

Bayley told me more in an email:

I produced the puzzle last Friday. It is an accurate representation of the redistricted map that just passed Chicago’s city council the day before. I had been following the redistricting process mostly through WBEZ.org’s blog page. They were the only news outfit that I could find that was creating actual maps to accompany the competing redistricting plans. …

Due to all the attention he’s received, he decided to make five of the puzzles, one of which is already taken by a professor at Northwestern.

I was thinking of a whole product line, including ward t-shirts and belt buckles. But I’m in the final semester of my master’s degree at IIT [Illinois Institute of Technology], and therefore I must limit side projects.

Related: ProPublica uses a song to explain redistricting (Nieman Journalism Lab)

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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
Steve Myers

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