What Would You Save If Your House Was On Fire?

What Would You Save If Your House Was On Fire?

Kim R. McCormick
Jul 28, 2011

A few days ago, I came across a website where readers submit photos of the things they would save if their houses were on fire. I like the premise, and the photos got me thinking about how we relate to and value all of those things that reside in our homes.

In some cases on The Burning House, people said they would grab more than 20 small items. Others include more personal stories to explain why, in a smoldering building, he or she might rescue a particular stone or book.

As a child I watched a neighbor's house burn to the ground, and since then I've always known that my own list would be short. The one most in line with my own thinking came in a list focused on family members, pets, and passports (Image 2).

Maybe most refreshing was an entry where the person explained, "I wondered [sic] around my house, looking at the ornaments and memories that filled it. I collected a few things, even photographed them. But somehow they didn't seem to fit together. And then I looked down, at my feet, and realized that all I needed or wanted to 'save' from the burning house was me" (Image 3).

While I have mixed feelings about The Burning House, especially after reading Rob Walker's response at Design Observer, the site did get me thinking. What you would you choose to save?

Images: The Burning House

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