Muros Absurdos: Borderwall Urbanism Studio
A multidisciplinary studio in the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley led by Professors Ron Rael and Stephanie Syjuco
There are 14 major sister cities along the United States-Mexico border whose urban, cultural, and ecological networks have been bifurcated by a borderwall. With 650 miles already constructed, and the population in these urban areas expected to grow to over 20 million inhabitants over the next decade, the long-term effects of the wall’s construction must now be carefully considered. This speculation serves to anticipate the consequences of its incision into a context of rapid growth and massive migratory flows, especially as the current political climate calls for further wall construction.
Siting our investigation at the U.S.-Mexico borderwall, the Borderwall Urbanism graduate studio at UC Berkeley traverses the fields of art, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning to explore the American borderwalled city as an evolving political, societal, historical, and cultural phenomenon. Using experimental methods of analysis, fabrication, and collaboration, students have been challenged with examining the complex conditions of borderwall urbanism, ultimately creating objects and artistic responses to site and space.