WBEZ inspires architecture student to create ward map puzzle

January 26, 2012

A puzzle of the recently passed Chicago ward map, something you'd probably see at the MCA gift shop, or perhaps made by a particularly inventive craftsman at the Renegade Craft Fair, has been making the rounds on the internet.

Andrew Bayley, an architecture student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, made the map last week based off of WBEZ's interactive feature on the ward maps," he told Poynter. "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." (We're blushing.) He also paid homage to Chicago Reader writer Ben Joravsky for "doing such an exhaustive job of exposing this city's unique brand of civic governance...."

We reached out to Bayley, thanking him for reading, and wondering what his plans were, considering how his puzzle has taken off. To us, it seemed perfect for Chicagoans, who we've seen time and time again take huge pride in their map (as well as their flag). 

"Being in grad school, I'm a bit too busy to make a ton of the puzzles, so I am limiting the wood version to five, two of which have buyers already," he told us via email. "Since so many people have responded to the piece, however, that I am planning on doing a run of 30 white cardboard versions that will be considerably more affordable."

The current puzzle is 18" x 24", and made from Baltic Birch plywood. According to Bayley's site, it was "created out of the desire to expose how ridiculous the political process is in our town, [but] this puzzle also lets you have fun with the city."