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  • Isn't it fascinating how the simple act of drawing a line on the map

  • can transform the way we see and experience the world?

  • And how those spaces in between lines, borders,

  • become places.

  • They become places where language and food and music

  • and people of different cultures rub up against each other

  • in beautiful and sometimes violent and occasionally really ridiculous ways.

  • And those lines drawn on a map

  • can actually create scars in the landscape,

  • and they can create scars in our memories.

  • My interest in borders came about

  • when I was searching for an architecture of the borderlands.

  • And I was working on several projects along the US-Mexico border,

  • designing buildings made out of mud taken right from the ground.

  • And I also work on projects that you might say immigrated to this landscape.

  • \"Prada Marfa,\" a land-art sculpture

  • that crosses the border between art and architecture,

  • and it demonstrated to me that architecture could communicate ideas

  • that are much more politically and culturally complex,

  • that architecture could be satirical and serious at the same time

  • and it could speak to the disparities between wealth and poverty

  • and what's local and what's foreign.

  • And so in my search for an architecture of the borderlands,

  • I began to wonder,

  • is the wall architecture?

  • I began to document my thoughts and visits to the wall

  • by creating a series of souvenirs

  • to remind us of the time when we built a wall

  • and what a crazy idea that was.

  • I created border games,

  • (Laughter)

  • postcards,

  • snow globes with little architectural models inside of them,

  • and maps that told the story of resilience at the wall

  • and sought for ways that design could bring to light the problems

  • that the border wall was creating.

  • So, is the wall architecture?

  • Well, it certainly is a design structure,

  • and it's designed at a research facility called FenceLab,

  • where they would load vehicles with 10,000 pounds

  • and ram them into the wall at 40 miles an hour

  • to test the wall's impermeability.

  • But there was also counter-research going on on the other side,

  • the design of portable drawbridges

  • that you could bring right up to the wall

  • and allow vehicles to drive right over.

  • (Laughter)

  • And like with all research projects, there are successes

  • and there are failures.

  • (Laughter)

  • But it's these medieval reactions to the wall --

  • drawbridges, for example --

  • that are because the wall itself is an arcane, medieval form of architecture.

  • It's an overly simplistic response to a complex set of issues.

  • And a number of medieval technologies have sprung up along the wall:

  • catapults that launch bales of marijuana over the wall

  • (Laughter)

  • or cannons that shoot packets of cocaine and heroin over the wall.

  • Now during medieval times,

  • diseased, dead bodies

  • were sometimes catapulted over walls as an early form of biological warfare,

  • and it's speculated that today,

  • humans are being propelled over the wall as a form of immigration.

  • A ridiculous idea.

  • But the only person ever known to be documented to have launched over the wall

  • from Mexico to the United States

  • was in fact a US citizen,

  • who was given permission to human-cannonball over the wall,

  • 200 feet,

  • so long as he carried his passport in hand

  • (Laughter)

  • and he landed safely in a net on the other side.

  • And my thoughts are inspired by a quote by the architect Hassan Fathy,

  • who said,

  • \"Architects do not design walls,

  • but the spaces between them.\"

  • So while I do not think that architects should be designing walls,

  • I do think it's important and urgent that they should be paying attention

  • to those spaces in between.

  • They should be designing for the places and the people, the landscapes

  • that the wall endangers.

  • Now, people are already rising to this occasion,

  • and while the purpose of the wall is to keep people apart and away,

  • it's actually bringing people together in some really remarkable ways,

  • holding social events like binational yoga classes along the border,

  • to bring people together across the divide.

  • I call this the monument pose.

  • (Laughter)

  • And have you ever heard of \"wall y ball\"?

  • (Laughter)

  • It's a borderland version of volleyball, and it's been played since 1979

  • (Laughter)

  • along the US-Mexico border

  • to celebrate binational heritage.

  • And it raises some interesting questions, right?

  • Is such a game even legal?

  • Does hitting a ball back and forth over the wall constitute illegal trade?

  • (Laughter)

  • The beauty of volleyball is that it transforms the wall

  • into nothing more than a line in the sand

  • negotiated by the minds and bodies and spirits of players on both sides.

  • And I think it's exactly these kinds of two-sided negotiations

  • that are needed to bring down walls that divide.

  • Now, throwing the ball over the wall is one thing,

  • but throwing rocks over the wall

  • has caused damage to Border Patrol vehicles

  • and have injured Border Patrol agents,

  • and the response from the US side has been drastic.

  • Border Patrol agents have fired through the wall,

  • killing people throwing rocks on the Mexican side.

  • And another response by Border Patrol agents

  • is to erect baseball backstops to protect themselves and their vehicles.

  • And these backstops became a permanent feature

  • in the construction of new walls.

  • And I began to wonder if, like volleyball,

  • maybe baseball should be a permanent feature at the border,

  • and walls could start opening up,

  • allowing communities to come across and play,

  • and if they hit a home run,

  • maybe a Border Patrol agent would pick up the ball and throw it

  • back over to the other side.

  • A Border Patrol agent buys a raspado, a frozen treat,

  • from a vendor just a couple feet away,

  • food and money is exchanged through the wall,

  • an entirely normal event made illegal by that line drawn on a map

  • and a couple millimeters of steel.

  • And this scene reminded me of a saying:

  • \"If you have more than you need, you should build longer tables

  • and not higher walls.\"

  • So I created this souvenir to remember the moment that we could share

  • food and conversation across the divide.

  • A swing allows one to enter and swing over to the other side

  • until gravity deports them back to their own country.

  • The border and the border wall

  • is thought of as a sort of political theater today,

  • so perhaps we should invite audiences to that theater,

  • to a binational theater where people can come together

  • with performers, musicians.

  • Maybe the wall is nothing more than an enormous instrument,

  • the world's largest xylophone, and we could play down this wall

  • with weapons of mass percussion.

  • (Laughter)

  • When I envisioned this binational library,

  • I wanted to imagine a space where one could share

  • books and information and knowledge across a divide,

  • where the wall was nothing more than a bookshelf.

  • And perhaps the best way to illustrate the mutual relationship that we have

  • with Mexico and the United States

  • is by imagining a teeter-totter,

  • where the actions on one side had a direct consequence

  • on what happens on the other side,

  • because you see, the border itself

  • is both a symbolic and literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations,

  • and building walls between neighbors severs those relationships.

  • You probably remember this quote, \"Good fences make good neighbors.\"

  • It's often thought of as the moral of Robert Frost's poem \"Mending Wall.\"

  • But the poem is really about questioning the need for building walls at all.

  • It's really a poem about mending human relationships.

  • My favorite line is the first one:

  • \"Something there is that doesn't love a wall.\"

  • Because if there's one thing that's clear to me --

  • there are not two sides defined by a wall.

  • This is one landscape, divided.

  • On one side, it might look like this.

  • A man is mowing his lawn while the wall is looming in his backyard.

  • And on the other side, it might look like this.

  • The wall is the fourth wall of someone's house.

  • But the reality is that the wall is cutting through people's lives.

  • It is cutting through our private property,

  • our public lands,

  • our Native American lands, our cities,

  • a university,

  • our neighborhoods.

  • And I couldn't help but wonder

  • what it would be like if the wall cut through a house.

  • Remember those disparities between wealth and poverty?

  • On the right is the average size of a house in El Paso, Texas,

  • and on the left is the average size of a house in Juarez.

  • And here, the wall cuts directly through the kitchen table.

  • And here, the wall cuts through the bed in the bedroom.

  • Because I wanted to communicate how the wall is not only dividing places,

  • it's dividing people, it's dividing families.

  • And the unfortunate politics of the wall

  • is today, it is dividing children from their parents.

  • You might be familiar with this well-known traffic sign.

  • It was designed by graphic designer John Hood,

  • a Native American war veteran

  • working for the California Department of Transportation.

  • And he was tasked with creating a sign to warn motorists

  • of immigrants who were stranded alongside the highway

  • and who might attempt to run across the road.

  • Hood related the plight of the immigrant today

  • to that of the Navajo during the Long Walk.

  • And this is really a brilliant piece of design activism.

  • And he was very careful

  • in thinking about using a little girl with pigtails, for example,

  • because he thought that's who motorists might empathize with the most,

  • and he used the silhouette of the civil rights leader Cesar Chavez

  • to create the head of the father.

  • I wanted to build upon the brilliance of this sign

  • to call attention to the problem of child separation at the border,

  • and I made one very simple move.

  • I turned the families to face each other.

  • And in the last few weeks,

  • I've had the opportunity to bring that sign back to the highway

  • to tell a story,

  • the story of the relationships that we should be mending

  • and a reminder that we should be designing

  • a reunited states and not a divided states.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Isn't it fascinating how the simple act of drawing a line on the map

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TED】ロナルド・ラエル。An architect's subversive reimagining of the US-Mexico border wall (An architect's subversive reimagining of the US-Mexico border wall | Ronald Rael) (【TED】Ronald Rael: An architect's subversive reimagining of the US-Mexico border wall (An ar

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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