Seesaws installed for 20 minutes across US-Mexico border win design award
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The pink seesaw exhibit temporarily installed in 2019 across the U.S.-Mexico border was awarded the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year on Tuesday by London’s Design Museum. 

The installation, designed by Ronald Rael of the University of California, Berkeley and Virginia San Fratello of San José State University was titled the “Teeter-Totter Wall” and included three seesaws slotted into the gaps in a portion of the wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. 

The fulcrums, initially designed in 2009, allowed children from El Paso, Texas, and the Anapra community in Juárez, Mexico, to play together despite the 20-foot wall that divided them. The installation lasted for just under 20 minutes in July 2019, according to the Design Museum


“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," Rael wrote in an Instagram post in 2019.

Tim Marlow, the chief executive and director of the Design Museum, said in a statement announcing Tuesday’s award that "the Teeter-Totter Wall encouraged new ways of human connection.” 

"It remains an inventive and poignant reminder of how human beings can transcend the forces that seek to divide us,” Marlow added. 

Upon accepting the award in a virtual ceremony Tuesday, San Fratello expressed her appreciation for the positive response to the installation, saying “the project resonated with people around the world in a way we didn’t anticipate.”

“It speaks to the fact that most people are excited about being together, and about optimism and about possibility and the future. And the divisiveness actually comes from the minority,” she added. 

The U.S.-Mexico border became a focus of President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE’s administration through his campaign promise to “build a wall” between the two countries and the implementation of hard-line immigration policies throughout his presidency. 

The award comes just one day before President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE will take the oath of office. Biden throughout his campaign condemned the Trump administration’s policies on immigration, calling them an “unrelenting assault” on American values, and is now planning on unveiling sweeping immigration reform on his first day in the Oval Office.