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US-Mexico border: Pink seesaws at wall named Design of the Year 2020

Ellie Harrison
·1-min read
Pink seesaws created a 'literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations', according to inventors (Ronald Rael)
Pink seesaws created a 'literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations', according to inventors (Ronald Rael)

A set of bright pink seesaws that bridged the US-Mexico border has won the Design of the Year award.

The Teeter Totter Wall, which was installed across the border between El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico for 40 minutes in July 2019, allowed American and Mexican children to play together. The event was described at the time as being “filled with joy, excitement and togetherness at the border wall”.

The seesaws were created by Ronald Rael, a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San José State University.

According to The Guardian, they said they hoped the design would help people reassess the effectiveness of borders and encourage dialogue rather than division. San Fratello said: “I think it’s become increasingly clear with the recent events in our country that we don’t need to build walls we need to build bridges.”

“Walls don’t stop people from entering our Capitol,” Rael added. “Walls don’t stop viruses from moving. We have to think about how we can be connected and be together without hurting each other.”

In his final months in office, Donald Trump has ramped up construction on the physical border between the US and Mexico, which has had a devastating impact on wildlife habitats and increased the migrant death toll.

The winning design beat competition from more than 70 nominees, which included a 3D rendering of the virus causing Covid-19, Lee Ha Jun’s set design from Parasite and the union flag stab-proof vest worn by Stormzy at Glastonbury 2019.

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