More Than A Seesaw

August 3, 2019

What can you do with a seesaw? It might seem like an odd question since at first glance a seesaw is merely a fun piece of playground equipment. But if you take the seesaw out of the playground and put one side through a tall steel fence, this simple piece of playground equipment becomes a whole lot more. After all, how does a seesaw work? It only works when two people are sitting on either end of it. If one person leaves, it no longer works, right? Now hold that thought.

Recently two professors saw the idea of the seesaw as a way of connecting people. Professor of architecture Ronald Rael from the University of California, Berkeley, and associate professor of design Virginia San Fratello from San Jose State University decided to build a “Teeter-Totter Wall” at the New Mexico and Mexico border where a private group erected a steel fence border wall. Needless to say, it’s not the happiest of places. But for a moment, a place of hopelessness and despair became a place of joy as people on both sides of the fence came together to play. According to Rael, it was an event that was “filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness at the border wall.” While the Teeter-Totter Wall may not solve the issues around border walls and immigration, for a brief time, people came together.

What are your ideas for unifying people?