Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB

Architects Rael and San Fratello create seesaws that reach across the divide at US-Mexico border

Two design academics have built fluorescent pink seesaws that reach across the border on the outskirts of El Paso in Texas, US and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

Aiming to bring a "playful concept of unity" to the two sides of the divide, the seesaws are the brainchild of Ronald Rael, professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and Virginia San Fratello, associate professor of design at Mexico's San José State University.

The installation – produced under the pair's Rael San Fratello design company – allows children and adults play and interact on both sides of the controversial fence.

Called the Teetertotter Wall, the duo first drew up plans for the project a decade ago, in 2009.

Rael says the seesaw should form the start of a "re-examination of what the 650 miles of physical barrier that divides the United States of America from the United Mexican States is, and could be".

"Bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 is one of the most incredible experiences of my and career – and an event filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall," Rael said.

"The wall became a literal fulcrum for US - Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side."

The US-Mexico border has come under a global spotlight, due to US President Donald Trump’s controversial promise to “build a wall” between the two nations.

Ronald Rael  Virginia San Fratello  Donald Trump 
Two design academics have built fluorescent pink seesaws that reach across the border on the outskirts of El Paso in Texas, US and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico. Aiming to bring a "playful concept of unity" to the two sides of the divide, the seesaws are the brainchild of Ronald Rael, professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and Virginia San Fratello, associate professor of design at Mexico's San
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The installation allows children and adults play and interact on both sides of the controversial fence.
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Architects Rael and San Fratello create seesaws that reach across the divide at US-Mexico border
Two design academics have built fluorescent pink seesaws that reach across the border on the outskirts of El Paso in Texas, US and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB