Albuquerque Journal

Border seesaws win top prize from London Design Museum


LONDON — Teeter-totters that allowed children on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border wall to play together has won a prize from London’s Design Museum.

The three hot-pink seesaws were installed through the slats of the wall, with one seat in the Sunland Park, New Mexico, and the other in Ciudad Juárez. They were put up on July 28, 2019, and removed after less than an hour.

The Design Museum on Tuesday named the project overall winner of the Beazley Designs of the Year competitio­n for 2020, which considered 74 projects by designers from around the world. Teeter-Totter Wall was designed by California architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, with help from Colectivo Chopeke, an artists’ collective in Juárez.

“It … struck a chord that continues to resonate far beyond El Paso in the U.S.A. and Juárez in Mexico,” museum director Tim Marlow said in announcing the prize. “We thought this would be a moment to show to the world … that the border isn’t a desolate place where no one lives,” Rael, a professor of architectu­re at the University of California, Berkeley, told a university publicatio­n in 2019.

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