Pink Seesaw Installed on U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Wins ‘Best Design’ Award

 

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In 2019, a set of seesaws were installed on the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border as an unlikely act of unification. The project, called Teetertotter Wall, featured slender beams clad in highlighter pink slid through the slats of the metal divider. People on both sides of the wall could enjoy the teeter-totters while also coming face-to-face with someone in a different country. The temporary creation gained attention when it was deployed, and it’s recently made headlines again by winning the London’s Design Museum award for the best design of 2020. In addition to taking home the top overall prize, it also won in the transportation category.

The project was designed over the course of a decade by Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State. “The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S.-Mexico relations,” Rael wrote at the time, “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.”

Teetertotter Wall was crowned the overall winner among 70 nominees, and it had some stiff competition. Other nominations included a customized “stab-proof vest” designed by Banksy as well as the brilliant set design of the Oscar-winning film, Parasite.

“We are totally surprised by this unexpected honor, which we share with the Juarez based art collective, Colectivo Chopeke,” Rael said of their win. “Most importantly, it comes at a time when we are hopeful for change and that we start building more bridges instead of walls.”

If you’d like to see more of Teetertotter Wall and the other notable designs, book your spot in the Design Museum's interactive virtual experience now through March 28, 2021.

The Teetertotter Wall, an unlikely unifier at the U.S.-Mexico border, has won the London’s Design Museum award for the best design of 2020.

 

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London Design Museum: Website 
Ronald Rael: Website | Instagram
Virginia San Fratello: Website | Instagram

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This Is What Peaceful Borderlines Between European Countries Look Like

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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