The Trump administration is reviewing design bids
for its proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. But not all plans feature a literal wall.
JM Design Studio, a Pittsburgh-based artist collective, wants to build a “wall” made of 3 million hammocks strung together by western white pine trees.
Anyone would be able to lounge in the hammocks, Jennifer Meridian, the artist who led the design, tells Business Insider. The trees, which would be planted along the border, would each stretch 30 feet tall.
Meridian says the design, which is actually in protest to the Trump administration’s call, seeks to re-think the nature of a border wall.
“If we have to build something, let’s build it as art, inclusiveness, and creativity,” Meridian says. “Let’s abandon old ideas for what is much more promising: a world that embraces rather than rejects the ‘other.’ I want to see a demilitarized world where borders are fluid and open. Walls are not part of that vision.”
The hammock wall is one of six designs that the firm submitted to the Trump administration’s official call. The firm also sent plans for walls made of 10 million pipe organs, lighthouses, and gravestones that mark the lives of migrants who died trying to cross the border.
JM Design Studio is looking to build prototypes of the hammock wall and the pipe organ wall in California’s San Diego desert, located just north of the border with Tijuana, Mexico. In coming weeks, the team will launch a crowdfunding campaign to make the designs a reality.
“We think it is important to take the next step towards realisation of these designs. They are as realistic as the other proposals. We believe that, by building them, we set a precedent that they are of equal merit and just as possible to build, and believe in [as a normal border wall],” Meridian says.
In late April, Congress approved a budget bill that will fund $US146 million in upgrades to the existing steel border fencing, which was first installed in the mid-1990s. The US Department of Homeland Security estimates that a wall will cost approximately $US21.6 billion.
Meridian says that the hammock wall would cost about $US100,000 per mile to build. That means if the US were to plant trees and attach hammocks along the entire span of US-Mexico border, it would cost around $US195 million. That price would not include demolishing the 650 miles of existing fencing.
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