Architect Constructs Seesaws On The US-Mexico Border Where Children From Both Countries Play

by Conscious Reminder

In a world riddled with division and forced separation, it is always heart-warming to see a place where unity and friendship are displayed.

And who can be more united than children with one another? When a child sees another child, they don’t recognize skin color, race, nationality, class or creed.

They just look at them as a playmate. There is no politics in their interaction – no hostility. There’s only the innocence of a pure friendship forming between.

Maybe that’s what went in the mind of Ronald Rael, a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and Virginia San Fratello, an associate design professor at San Jose University.

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One of the most incredible experiences of my and @vasfsf’s career bringing to life the conceptual drawings of the Teetertotter Wall from 2009 in an event 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. Amazing thanks to everyone who made this event possible like Omar Rios @colectivo.chopeke for collaborating with us, the guys at Taller Herrería in #CiudadJuarez for their fine craftsmanship, @anateresafernandez for encouragement and support, and everyone who showed up on both sides including the beautiful families from Colonia Anapra, and @kerrydoyle2010, @kateggreen , @ersela_kripa , @stphn_mllr , @wakawaffles, @chris_inabox and many others (you know who you are). #raelsanfratello #borderwallasarchitecture

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He had seen the border walls that diving USA and Mexico – something, he does not really support. And so, he chose to go down the ‘children’s route’ to make a difference.

Ronald chose to build seesaws placed both sides of the see saw on either side of the steel border fence which marks the Mexico and United States border. This idea is called ‘Teeter-Totter Wall’.

It had been conceptualized a long time ago, back in 2009. It was presented in a book called ‘Borderwall as Architecture. In the book, inventiveness and humor was used to present the futility of such dividing borders between neighbors, as per UC-Berkeley.

And now, after 10 years, the drawings are becoming a reality. The materials, that is the seesaws, were transferred to the Sunland Park in New Mexico which is separated by a steel fence from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The town in New Mexico has had a militia which detained migrants in early 2019 and had a  private group  build their own personal border after raising money using GoFundMe.

While on one side, there is division and violence, the other side shows a different story. In Sunland Park, people are coming from all ends of the border to engage in a single act of complete unification, as per the University of California.

This unification just shows that children have no politics in them – it is just that they become the unfortunate victims of politics. Plus, the people from Mexico did not plan it out as per the University.

Rael was filled with joy when he saw this scene. It almost made his dream come true. He believes that children did not have the adult guile of politics and division. His work now proved to be so. The togetherness was enriching for all of them.

Plus, interestingly, the fulcrum of the seesaw is actually the wall. None of the children participating in the seesaw play knew of the consequences or occurrences on the other side of the wall. They were just living in a peaceful playful space.

Even adults participated in this grand play.

Rael mentions in his book that his studio has also made counterproposals regarding the wall – they want to reimagine and question the wall as well as the costs and performance of it. Maybe, they can get their proposals passed.

Rael and Virginia are truly making symbols and directing the world to a grand change – a change which creates the unity of the human race.

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