“A protest against the wall and a forecast about its future.”
— Allison Arieff,
"Rael’s courageous mixture of subversion and compromise is not going to hide the affront that the border represents to those who live south of it."
— London Review of Books
"...the proposals ...attempting to transform the boundary into something more than just an obstruction, are provocative and inventive."
— Architectural Record
“Borderwall as Architecture
explores how architects can undermine the wall not just structurally, but conceptually. Today, the wall symbolizes xenophobia and fear. Designs that promote social, economic, and ecological development on both sides of the border could rewrite that narrative. In the past, groups have gathered on both sides of the wall to hold yoga meetups and stage horse races. Rael draws inspiration from these and other examples to highlight opportunities for subversion and change.”
"Part historical account, part theoretical appraisal, and part design manifesto, Borderwall as Architecture
is reminiscent of Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York
in its sweeping assessment of both the sociocultural peculiarities and outlandish possibilities represented by a prominent structural element."
— Blaine Brownell,
"...a timely re-examination of what the physical barrier that divides the United States of America from the United Mexican States is and could be...alongside the architectural brutality and social displacement that almost automatically accompany such borders, Ronald Rael and his contributors also explore the ways in which highlighting the border can be transformed into new opportunities."
— Times Higher Education
“Borderwall As Architecture goes into keen scholarly detail on the walls at the US-Mexico border…Rael offers many such concepts in the book, which often have a whimsy about them that reminds me of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities.”
— Bruce Sterling,
“[Rael’s] imagination is audacious, and he smartly frames his “grand tour” of the border as a procession of vignettes that shift easily between history, architectural what-ifs and what you might call postcards from the front.”
— John King,
"...in raising questions that not many others are asking about the relationship between two countries that share 2,000 miles of border, his book serves an important purpose."
— The Daily Beast
“[A} small book with big ideas…Rael shows that alternative proposals depicted through architecture (drawings, models, renderings) are also a legitimate form of protest.”
— A Daily Dose of Architecture
"While border walls and separation now seem inevitable, Rael’s subversive designs seem to indicate a way forward: They allow us to cope with the current moment by preparing for a less segregated future."
— World Policy Journal
"This is a work that harks back to the days of Buckminster Fuller and Marshall McLuhan — especially the latter."
— Diplomat & International Canada
“Rael presents the wall not as a simple securitized object but as a critical facet of life cutting through communities and the desert— [for example] …“House Divided” presents a mode for architecture to both illustrate the recursive logic of the geometric barrier and frame it within a domestic typology that can be read in all of its complex relations.”
— The Avery Review
"Rael sees endless opportunities for creative defiance as he exposes the wall’s xenophobic horror stories, absurdities and ironies by imagining design as both an undermining and reparative measure... [his proposals] force us to re-examine the feasibility of constructing “a big beautiful wall” around fortress America by underscoring that borders are innate zones of connectivity as much as division."
— New York Journal of Books