Good Thinking

Teeter-totter on US/Mexico border named 2020 Beazley Design of the Year

Teeter-totter on US/Mexico bor...
Teeter-Totter Wall was named both the winner of the Transport category and the overall winner of the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year
Teeter-Totter Wall was named both the winner of the Transport category and the overall winner of the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year
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Teeter-Totter Wall was only installed for 20 minutes, which was just enough time for some Mexican and American kids to play together
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Teeter-Totter Wall was only installed for 20 minutes, which was just enough time for some Mexican and American kids to play together
Teeter-Totter Wall was named both the winner of the Transport category and the overall winner of the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year
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Teeter-Totter Wall was named both the winner of the Transport category and the overall winner of the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year
Tetter-Totter Wall was installed on the El Paso/Juarez border between the US and Mexico
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Tetter-Totter Wall was installed on the El Paso/Juarez border between the US and Mexico
Teeter-Totter Wall consists of three bright pink teeter-totters, which were slotted into gaps in the steel boundary wall by designers from both sides of the border
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Teeter-Totter Wall consists of three bright pink teeter-totters, which were slotted into gaps in the steel boundary wall by designers from both sides of the border
ModSkool, by Social Design Collaborative, won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Architecture category. The school is designed to be easily erected and dismantled in response to forced evictions of farming communities on the floodplains of the Yamuna river in India
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ModSkool, by Social Design Collaborative, won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Architecture category. The school is designed to be easily erected and dismantled in response to forced evictions of farming communities on the floodplains of the Yamuna river in India

The Telfar bag, by Telfar, won the Fashion category. It's described as a vegan leather, gender neutral hand bag
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The Telfar bag, by Telfar, won the Fashion category. It's described as a vegan leather, gender neutral hand bag
Brick arches designed by Hong Kong protestors won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year People's Choice category. The small brick structures were used by Hong Kong protestors from the pro-democracy movement as roadblocks to slow down police vehicles
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Brick arches designed by Hong Kong protestors won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year People's Choice category. The small brick structures were used by Hong Kong protestors from the pro-democracy movement as roadblocks to slow down police vehicles
The Impossible Burger 2.0, by Impossible Foods, won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Product category. It aims to be tastier, juicier and more beef-like plant-based alternative to meat
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The Impossible Burger 2.0, by Impossible Foods, won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Product category. It aims to be tastier, juicier and more beef-like plant-based alternative to meat
3D rendering of SARS-CoV-2 won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Graphics category. It was commissioned by the US health organisation Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help raise public awareness of the oncoming pandemic
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3D rendering of SARS-CoV-2 won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Graphics category. It was commissioned by the US health organisation Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help raise public awareness of the oncoming pandemic
A Rapist in Your Way (‘Un violador en tu camino’) was designed by Colectivo LASTESIS and won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Digital category. It was a protest performance denouncing sexual violence against women and LGBTQ communities in Latin America
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A Rapist in Your Way (‘Un violador en tu camino’) was designed by Colectivo LASTESIS and won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Digital category. It was a protest performance denouncing sexual violence against women and LGBTQ communities in Latin America
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Following the unveiling of a shortlist last October, London's Design Museum has revealed the winner of the prestigious 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Award, the Teeter-Totter Wall. The judges lauded the project for briefly bringing together communities on either side of one of the world's busiest and most politicized borders.

The teeter-totter (or see-saw, to non-US readers) installation was created by architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, with Colectivo Chopeke, and consisted of three bright pink teeter totters which were slotted into gaps in the steel boundary wall that divides El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, by designers from both sides of the border.

Teeter-Totter Wall was only installed for 20 minutes, which was just enough time for some Mexican and American kids to play together
Teeter-Totter Wall was only installed for 20 minutes, which was just enough time for some Mexican and American kids to play together

The considerable bureaucratic headache of getting permission to set up an art installation on the heavily guarded border area meant that the project took a decade to realize. Once finally put in place on July 28, 2019, it only remained for 20 minutes, which was just enough time for a few children from either side of the border to play on it. The event was filmed and broadcast around the world.

"It is great to see a project that is seriously playful and playfully serious is the winner of our Beazley Designs of the Year Award for 2020," says Tim Marlow, Chief Executive and Director of the Design Museum. "The Teeter-Totter Wall was originally installed for only 20 minutes in 2019 across the US/Mexico border, but it encouraged new ways of human connection and struck a chord that continues to resonate far beyond El Paso in the USA and Juarez in Mexico. It remains an inventive and poignant reminder of how human beings can transcend the forces that seek to divide us."

Tetter-Totter Wall was installed on the El Paso/Juarez border between the US and Mexico
Tetter-Totter Wall was installed on the El Paso/Juarez border between the US and Mexico

The project is certainly topical but isn't the first time that the Design Museum has used its annual award to highlight marginalized groups such as refugees and migrants, with Ikea's Better Shelter winning back in 2016. Additionally, as well as the overall award, winners were also declared in six different categories, plus a People's Choice award, each of which can be seen in the gallery.

Source: Design Museum

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