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Instead Of A Border Wall, Some Texans Want Parks, Solar Panels Or Levees

A portion of the proposal submitted to the DHS by Lévy Kohlhaas ArchitectureLévy Kohlhaas

A portion of the proposal submitted to the DHS by Lévy Kohlhaas ArchitectureLévy Kohlhaas

As the Trump Administration moves ahead with its plans for a arrier just north of the Rio Grande, Texans are weighing in on how the president should approach the project. And the ideas range from the comical to the practical.
Imagine a kindler and gentler hand on the Texas-Mexico border where federal agents on patrol educate and welcome visitors to America. That happens as people from both sides of the Rio Grande meet at the center of a new, shared border checkpoint to play soccer or maybe watch movies near a farmers market.
Or maybe instead of a brick-and-mortar barrier near the river, there is a wall made of vertical solar panels that generate clean energy for both Mexico’s and America’s largest border states.
Those are just two concepts that Texans have sent to the Trump administration after the Department of Homeland Security posted solicitations for ideas on how to build President Trump’s “big, beautiful” wall on the border.
Though the ideas range from the burlesque to the practical, the people behind them said keeping quiet is no longer an option if the federal government is dead-set on seizing land and building a controversial and expensive barrier in their own backyard.

“I wouldn’t say it’s satirical. I think our intention was to be perhaps, a little provocative,” said Francois Lévy, the principal at Austin-based Lévy Kohlhaas Architecture who submitted the idea for the multi-purpose border park. Obviously there are a lot of people complaining right now. We thought that rather than complain we could offer an alternative narrative.”

Levy and his colleagues submitted the proposal after he penned a call to arms on the business networking site LinkedIn in which he urged other designers and artists to take a different approach to voicing opposition.
“Architects and Designers from all over the country and across the globe will send [Customs and Border Protection] daring and innovative design concepts for border installations that promote positive communication between countries, subverting the current authoritarian nationalist narrative,” he wrote.


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