The idea for a “Teeter-Totter Wall” came from Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State University — and it was a long time coming.
In 2009, the two designed a concept for a binational seesaw at the border for a book, “Borderwall as Architecture,” which uses “humor and inventiveness to address the futility of building barriers,” UC-Berkeley said
Ten years later, their conceptual drawings became reality. Rael and his crew transported the seesaws to Sunland Park, New Mexico, separated by a steel fence from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.The New Mexico town is also where a militia detained migrants this year and where a private group built its own border wall using millions of dollars raised in a GoFundMe campaign.
But along another stretch of the border in Sunland Park on Monday, the scene was dramatically different.
People from both sides came together to play in a “unifying act,” the University of California
said in a statement. Participants on the Mexico side had no planning, it said.
In an Instagram post, Rael said the event was “filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the borderwall.”
“The wall became a literal fulcrum for U.S -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,” he wrote.
Rael says that counterproposals for the wall created by his studio “reimagine, hyperbolize, or question the wall and its construction, cost, performance and meaning,” according to the book’s website