The “Teeter-Totter Wall,” which bridged across the border wall at El Paso, TX, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, for a brief 40 minutes, has won a London Design Museum’s Beazley Design of the Year Award.
Designed by artists Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of studio Rael San Fratello working with Colectivo Chopeke, a Mexican-based art collective. The designers had been researching the border that separates Mexico from the USA since 2009.
Viewing the boundary as a site that severs relationships between the two countries, they wanted to create a place where citizens across the border could connect, so they designed three bright pink “teeter-totters” (see-saws) to slot into gaps in the steel border wall.
One designer worked from Juárez in Mexico and another in El Paso, USA. For just under twenty minutes on July 28, 2019, residents of El Paso and the Anapra community in Mexico could, for the first time, unite through play.
The installation was removed by volunteers peacefully after a visit from U.S. Border Patrol agents.