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US-Mexico border See Saw wins ‘Design of the Year award’

Way back in November 2019 we wrote an article about propaganda which included a simple, yet thought provoking, see saw. But why would a see saw be thought provoking, we hear you ask? Well because this particular one spanned the US/Mexico border wall, allowing kids either side to interactive with one another…

…and the reason we’re mentioning it again is because the wonderful project, titled ‘Teeter Totter Wall’, has just won the overall Beazley Design of the Year Award 2020 as well as the transport category.

The interactive project was a collaborative work by Californian architect duo California-based Ronald Rael and Virigina San Fratello and Juárez artist collective Colectivo Chopeke and comprises of 3 pink see saws slotted through the gaps of the US and Mexico metal border wall.

Incredibly, due to its sensitive location, the project took 10 years to get permission and was sadly only in situ for about 20 mins.

Fortunately that was just long enough for it to capture the attention of millions as the project went viral. The see saws were placed, if only for a short period, so that children from Juárez in Mexico and children in El Paso, USA could unite and play between a wall that is designed to divide.

For just a short period of time people either side of the border wall could interact

“What you do on one facet has an influence on the opposite,” architect Ronald Rael told CNN in 2019, “and that is what a seesaw is.”

The Beazley design awards are run in partnership with the Design Museum, London and according to their website “brings together the very best examples of design over the last year from around the world across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport. The judging panel selects a winner in each category along with the overall Beazley Design of the Year”.

We loved everything about this project from the moment we saw it in 2019. The simple idea of the see saw and its location speaks volumes, it’s just a shame the fun was so short lived.

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