“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, Architect Magazine

“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, New Scientist

“A protest against the wall and a forecast about its future.” — Allison Arieff, The New York Times

“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.” — Margaret Rhodes, WIRED

“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.” — Dr. Marilyn Gates, New York Journal of Books

“…an approach that goes beyond the traditional binary perspectives of “closed” and “open” borders. Rael and the other contributors – prominent social scientists and public figures – seek to develop new modes of engagement in spite of the barrier, rising to the challenge that has been put to local residents.” — David Newman, Times Higher Education

“[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, The San Francisco Chronicle

“A well-timed and inventive new book…In Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary, Rael aims to redefine the discussion.” — Kevin Canfield, The Daily Beast

“Rael and his four contributors would rather the border didn’t exist, but they’re not about to pretend it doesn’t. They approach it in oblique ways, often introducing absurd, pseudo-utopian schemes that point up its dystopian character. Rael resembles the influential border geographer Julian Minghi, who wrote a famously upbeat piece after the Berlin Wall came down about the future of ‘boundary studies’, announcing a new focus on the ‘normal and harmonious contexts’ that were sure to prevail in a changing era for human geography.” — Jeremy Harding, London Review of Books

A “Small book with big ideas…Rael shows that alternative proposals depicted through architecture (drawings, models, renderings) are also a legitimate form of protest.”—John Hill, A Daily Dose of Architecture

“Provocative and inventive.” — James Gauer, Architectural Record

From the back cover:

“A fascinating book, astonishing and magical: a realm where the absurdity of a wall is transformed from obstructive and negative to an affirmation of shared humanity.”—Judith Torrea, journalist and author based in Ciudad Juárez, México

“Timely and provocative, Borderwall as Architecture is an eloquent appeal to reconsider the principles and prejudices of nationalism within the context of the built environment.”—Jonathon Keats, experimental philosopher and author of You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future

“No longer sovereign limits of exchange, borders are at once indexes of national as well as individual identities. Borderwall as Architecture interrogates how the the securitization of the United States’ southernmost limits radically define new landscapes of transaction that can also be visualized as a tool of violence. Among Ronald Rael’s elegant ironies seen across anticipatory yet moving drawings and projects, the Mexico-US border fence/wall registers a figurative logic in which seemingly banal aspects of porosity, transparency, and locality also confront architecture’s and our own roles in two nations’ un-becoming.”—Sean Anderson, Curator, Architecture and Design, MOMA