Pink seesaws at the US-Mexico border. TNS
Gulf Today Report
Walls are usually meant to distance people. However, a novel seesaw installation at the US-Mexico border wall brought people on both sides of the border closer together.
The creation — a set of bright pink seesaws — that bridged the gap created by divisive forces, is a lesson in innovation and unity that caught the attention of London's Design Museum, which has given it the 2020 Beazley 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.
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The event was described at the time as being “filled with joy, excitement and togetherness at the border wall,” according to The Independent.
The installation was erected at a time when former US President Donald Trump had planned to erect a wall along the 2,000 mile border between the two countries that had triggered a lot of controversies among global leaders.
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.
The creators told The Guardian that they said they hoped the design would help people ponder over the idea 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.”
The winning design beat 70 other nominees, including a 3D interpretation of the virus causing Covid-19, Lee Ha Jun’s set design from “Parasite” and the union flag stab-proof vest worn by singer Stormzy at Glastonbury 2019.
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With a Masters in Business Economics, the Dubai based artist has worked in the banking, insurance, and micro finance sectors in India and UAE for over 15 years.