Teeter Totter Wall at the U.S.-Mexico Border Wins Design of the Year

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Read more

On Trump’s last day in office, one more powerful sign that his authoritarian-esque regime was no longer welcome was delivered by London’s Design Museum. Architects and professors Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello were awarded Best Design of 2020 for their Teeter-Totter Wall that sat on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019 for no longer than 30 minutes.

The art project turned the border wall into the temporary base for pink seesaws–inviting children on each side to come play together. “We are totally surprised by this unexpected honor,which we share with the Juarez based art collective, @colectivo.chopeke,” said Rael shared in an Instagram post. “Most importantly, it comes at a time when we are hopeful for change and that we start building more bridges instead of walls.”

“The project resonated with people around the world in a way that we didn’t anticipate,” San Fratello said when the award was announced. “It speaks to the fact that most people are excited about being together, and about optimism and about possibility and the future. And the divisiveness actually comes from the minority.”

According to Razia Iqbal, a journalist who chaired the Design Museum’s panel of judges, the Beazley Designs of the Year are “the Oscars” of the design world and are typically awarded to work that pushes “boundaries of creativity and innovation.”

The designers created the project to address Trump’s aggressive immigration policies. The museum said that the Teeter-Totter Wall let the Anapra community in Mexico connect with their neighbors in an attempt to create unity at the politically divisive border.