Sep 9, 2009

Border Wall as Infrastructure

cityLAB, an urban think-tank at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design, has announced the six finalists of its WPA 2.0 competition. The competition, which stands for working public architecture, invited designers of all stripes to submit proposals for rebuilding our cities’ infrastructure as a sort of throwback to the Great Depression-era WPA. Juried by Stan Allen, Cecil Balmond, Elizabeth Diller, Walter Hood, Thom Mayne, and Marilyn Jordan Taylor, the top-six picks run the gamut from heading off an impending water crisis to creating a softer, gentler version of our infrastructure.

Border Wall as Infrastructure, submitted by Rael San Fratello Architects, investigates unplumbed potentials for the Mexico-U.S. border fence. "There exists far more potential in a construction project that is estimated to cost up to $1,325.75 per linear foot." Recognizing the high cost, limited effectiveness and unintended natural consequences of the new, multi-layered US/Mexico border wall (disruption of animal habitats, diversion of water runoff that has caused new flooding in nearby towns), this proposal names 30 alternatives (covering nearly the whole of the Mexican alphabet, literally from Aqueduct wall to Zen wall) that might better combat the energy crisis, risk of death from dehydration, disruption of animal habitat, loss of vegetation, negative labor relations, missing creative vision and lack of cross-cultural appreciation likely in the government sponsored version. Read more at WPA 2.0 | Architects Newspaper | Curbed | World Landscape Architect

Sep 3, 2009

Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Border Walls

"What I seek to convey is the historic truth that the United States as a nation has at all times maintained opposition --clear, definite opposition-- to any attempt to lock us in behind an ancient Chinese wall while the procession of civilization went past. Today, thinking of our children and of their children, we oppose enforced isolation for ourselves or for any other part of the Americas."
FDR, speech on "The Four Freedoms," Jan 6, 1941

Selling The Border Wall

They have heard of people tunneling under it, scaling it and, on the Mexican side, defacing it. But it is not often, law enforcement authorities say, that people try to rip apart the border fence to sell it. That appears to be the motive that led to the arrest this week in Tijuana, Mexico, of six people who, the authorities there say, were caught shearing off chunks of the metal plate fence to sell as scrap.