Among the many ludicrous policy "plans" Donald Trump has proposed, constructing a wall to separate the United States and Mexico ranks among the most isolationist, reactionary, and downright impossible of them all. While a wall dividing nations is absurd, a wall to quarantine Trump himself from the rest of the world is genius, argues the architectural parody website Archistophanes.
Last month, the site hosted a competition called Good Walls Make Good Neighbors, Mr. Trump, and invited designers and architects to conceive of the wall the Republican presidential hopeful deserves using images of his very own properties. The charrette's goal—like the others Aristophanes hosts—is to move architecture into the realm of memes.
"Competitions and calls for entries are good in that they get a lot of people discussing and visualizing topics, but those are slow processes," Aristophanes says. "I want architects to jump into the fray of the quick-response world of the internet and visualize current issues in real time. Ultimately, I think architects want to be politically active and use our visualization skills to voice opinions and although this charrette was a tongue-in-cheek exercise, we were very pleased, if not surprised by the turnout. The future charrettes may not be as irreverent as this one, but we will continue to bring architects in the fray!"
After some of its own extreme vetting, Archistophanes announced the winners. Not all of the entries have a physical wall per se, but there are clever—albeit fantastical—ideas in spades for how to deal with the Donald problem; a good chunk of them are simply absurdist visions of Trump and his buildings.
As this election season has shown, designers and architects are hungry for creative outlets to express their rage and frustration with today's haywire political climate. Projects like Good Walls Make Good Neighbors, Sagmeister & Walsh's recent Pins Won't Save the World buttons, and the Build Kindness Not Walls protest show how design activism is evolving today.
"Architecture is a very powerful tool—unfortunately, one that can be manipulated and utilized in an unwieldy way, like the Trump wall proposal," Aristophanes says. "The winning entries demonstrate how this phenomenon can be appropriated and subverted to expose the broader implications of such practice. Also, some entries were just really funny! I think humor and moments of lightness are important to survival. Just ask future POTUS, Kenneth Bone."
A Co.Design favorite? Devouring Trump Tower à la a slice of pizza à la his 1995 Pizza Hut commercial. See the winners and honorable mentions in the slide show above.
[All Photos: via Archistophanes]