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PORCH CULTURE, 2020

The Chicago-style porch, a re-imagining of the fire escape, encapsulates Chicago culture by displaying everyday life in the Windy City while documenting the city’s experience with fire and tragedy through its construction details. Building codes, personal space, regional identity, and disaster all fit within this framework.

Porch Culture pulls apart these layers of the Chicago porch. It thrives on the activities and human behavior it displays in plain sight. There’s no need to peer inside windows to get a sense of who your neighbors are, just look at their porch. Furniture. Garbage. Clothing hung out to dry. Maybe you witness someone moving a couch up the narrow, winding stairs, or maybe you see a family sit together for dinner outside by the grill. Objects and activities such as these begin to represent the spirit of everyday life in these spaces. Goose Island beer bottles, IKEA furniture, the Cubs flag, and the horizontal 2x6 handrail are all images that prompt personal experience with living in Chicago.