• Image of MINGA | Great Chicago Fire

I first started thinking about what types of wood would have been used during that era. One of the reason the fire burned so hot, so fast, was the wood. Most building materials where salvaged and reused as much as possible. If a bank or a larger building where to come down, a house would be built using all the reclaimed materials. Likewise, if a house were to come down those materials were used to construct smaller buildings and in this case, the shanty towns of Chicago during the 1870′s. The wood I used was donated by Think Flux, a local design build company here in Milwaukee. We estimated the Hemlock timbers to be around 150yrs old, making a connection with the wood of the great fire. I then burned the edges of the inner wood piece to age it further and give it an authentic smell, look and feel, as if it had been reclaimed from the fire. The new school of architecture rose out of the burnt embers so I chose to create an elaborate welded steel frame inspired from the architecture of the era. I also wanted to hint at the future of the day which was the Chicago world’s fair, by installing a light fixture that contains an Edison bulb.

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