Designs for Trump’s border wall are here. They fall into 4 categories.

*Why you should read this: Because despite the seriousness of the U.S.-Mexico wall, there were some laughable  concepts submitted this week for the federal government’s consideration. Because some of the designs, like the hammock wall, were surely done tongue-in-cheek. VL


April 5, 2017
PRI’s The World
Displayed with permission from GlobalPost

Imagine the Great Wall of China along the banks of the Rio Grande. Or maybe an animal-friendly barrier that keeps migrants out but lets roadrunners in.

These are some of the designs contractors submitted this week in the first round of bids to build President Donald Trump’s promised 2,000-mile wall along the Mexican border.

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin took a look at some of the designs and has divided them into four categories.

Category 1: Perfuming the Pig

“Some of these are what I would call the ‘perfuming the pig’ border wall designs,” Kamin says. In other words, designs that distract from the intent of the wall — which is to keep people out.

First up in this category is the solar panel design from Gleason Partners LLC.

This wall would generate 2 megawatts of electricity an hour. The contractors say the power could be sold to Mexico or to utility companies, and the profits could fund construction of the wall.

Another example in this category is an animal-friendly wall.

Animal-friendly wall
Animal-friendly wall Credit: Black Security Products

Black Security Products wants to build the wall with a 4-inch slit along the bottom to “I don’t know, let little desert rats pass through,” laughs Kamin.

Category 2: Bad Neighbor

The second category, Kamin says, is the “bad neighbor designs.” These project the message: “Attempt to climb me and die!!”

Take, for instance, the nuclear waste wall.

Nuclear waste wall
Nuclear waste wall Credit: Clayton Industries

Clayton Industries wants to build a wall with a series of barriers to deter illegal border crossers. There’s a chain-link fence, sensor panels, a railroad, a 30-foot-high wall and then … wait for it … a 100-foot-deep trench with nuclear waste at the bottom.

“It essentially sends the message: ‘Hey immigrants from Mexico and Central America. If you want to try to take a risk and find a better life in the United States, take your kid through a nuclear waste dump.’ That’s what we’re talking about,” says Kamin.

Category 3: The Fortress

“The fortress design is quite straightforward,” says Kamin. And there’s no better example of this than the Great Wall of China rip-off.

Great Wall of China rip off
Great Wall of China rip-off Credit: Crisis Resolution Security Services

The Crisis Resolution Security Services design might look familiar. It has a castellated top, a pedestrian walkway, and supposedly it could double as a tourist attraction.

“I’m sure that the Chinese president in his discussions with Trump is going to be horrified by this,” jokes Kamin. “He’ll probably ask for royalties or something.”

Category 4: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The “can’t we all just get along” designs are “more whimsical” says Kamin. These designs are intended more as cultural commentary than an actual plan.

Case-in-point: JM Design Studio’s hammock and pipe organ walls.

Hammock wall
Hammock wall Credit: J.M Design Studio
 One sketch from this group of women artists shows 3 million hammocks strung across the border, suspended between 30-foot-tall trees. Another design has a wall of 10 million pipe organs, with openings every 20 feet allowing for people to pass through.

“I don’t think the Department of Homeland Security is going to go for that one,” Kamin says.

The next step is for the government to select finalists. They will be announced in June. About 10 companies will be chosen to build prototypes of their designs in San Diego.

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

Coronavirus: Mexican wrestlers sew Lucha Libre face masks

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Unable to compete due to coronavirus, Mexico’s Lucha Libre wrestlers have taken up sewing face masks. Social distancing means the iconic sport is on hold for now, so fighters need […]

Latinos: COVID-19 Disrupts Finances, Daily Life, Mental Health

Victor Landa April 6, 2020

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. But U.S. Latinos are more likely than all Americans to say the coronavirus pandemic changed their daily lives, and disrupts their mental health, finances, and jobs, according to new Pew Research […]

A Profile of Coronavirus and the Latino Workforce

Victor Landa April 13, 2020

*This article was originally published in the NALCAB Blog. Over the last month, the Coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the lives and well-being of all Americans. It has disproportionately impacted the most […]

Hispanics more likely than Americans overall to see COVID-19 as a major threat to health and finances

Victor Landa April 14, 2020

Hispanics are more concerned than Americans overall about the threat the COVID-19 outbreak poses to the health of the U.S. population, their own financial situation and the day-to-day life of their local […]

Coronavirus could ‘decimate’ Latino wealth, which was hammered by the Great Recession

Victor Landa April 16, 2020

Octavia Nieto worked for over 10 years as a pastry chef at a bakery in Princeton, New Jersey. Now with the business closed indefinitely, she relies on a part-time job […]

Latino Teens: Distance Learning Is a Giant Stressor amid Coronavirus

Victor Landa April 22, 2020

Latino teens are more worried than their peers that they won’t be able to keep up with school work or extracurricular activities amid coronavirus, says a new survey by Common Sense and […]

LATINX PLAYERS POISED TO BLOW UP THE 2020 NFL DRAFT

Victor Landa

Despite these uncertain times, the 2020 NFL Draft will proceed as planned. But because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 NFL draft will be held virtually for the first time […]

Government Relief Less Likely To Reach Latino Businesses

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Latino communities may face a generational setback in growing wealth, as the pandemic-driven downturn exacerbates an already present gap in funding for their small businesses. Juan Rios sits among the […]