The article is not so recent (June 2006), but I still think it is worth it to speak about it since this project gathers the biggest bullshit architectural discourse I ever had to listen to…
It starts with a stupid idea competition organized by the New York Times calls A Fence With More Beauty, Fewer Barbs that proposes to thirteen architects to design the US/Mexico border instead of leaving it to technocrats.
Only five firms did propose a scheme and the one exhibited by the NYTimes is Eric Owen Moss ‘accompanied by a short audio explanation. Moss proposes an incredible aesthetization of the political violence of this fence by making it composed of transparent pipes’ rows and argue in a stunning naive way that the interface zone will be a promenade like Paris’ Champ Elysees. He then dig a tunnel in which there could be an exchange of culture and other kind of western filthy attitude of accepting everything coming from other countries (economy, skills and culture) except humans.
A wall is a wall and as pretty as you can make it look, it remains an object that violents bodies by preventing their movement. An architect who does not realize that a the geo-political scale may probably not realize it in every building he gets to build…You can read another critique expressed by Patricio del Real by clicking here. This has been sent to me by Ronald Rael who did design a proposition for the border besides this NYTimes context.