Domus 1044 - March 2020


In October 2017, on the Otay Mesa, a barren patch of land near San Diego, President Donald Trump unveiled eight prototype sections of free-standing wall. These were designed to be tested along the US-Mexican border, the fortification of which was a pillar of Trump’s election campaign. While a border wall is widely seen as an ineffective, symbolic solution to what conservatives consider to be the United States’ immigration problem, these prototypes represented Trump’s determination to follow through on the promises that got him elected. Built at a cost of 3.3 million dollars in federal funds, the competing prototypes [later dismantled, see photo], if commissioned, would constitute a monumental contract for the winning company. The prototype chosen for this issue’s cover by Thomas Demand was produced by Elta North America, a defence manufacturer based in Maryland and owned by Israel Aerospace Industries. The flow of capital and military resources between the US and Israel lends this prototype a further layer of symbolism – urging a loaded comparison with the defence of Israel’s borders against states which threaten its very existence. Trump – a real estate developer and a social climber – has built a fortune on the design and sale of aspirational structures. In October 2018, he described his intended wall as “artistically designed steel slats”; Demand observes that Elta’s design mirrors the Renaissance convention of the piano nobile sitting above the humbler ground floor. All the prototypes turned out to be far from impregnable, so, as with many of Demand’s subjects, these models were impossible fantasies.

A G Fronzoni Ajmone Giuseppe Alchimia Alessandro Mendini Almòdovar Pedro Alviani Getulio Anonimo Archigram Azuma Kengiro Basilico Gabriele Bass Saul Bayer Herbert Beeke Anthon Bernard Pierre Bernik Jenez Berns Bill Max Boullée Etienne-Louis Brian e Evans Brody Neville Bubbico Mauro Buszewicz Maciej Byrne David Calder Alexander Canova Antonio Carmi Eugenio Caron Sarah Carson David Casali Giorgio Casati Cesare Castelli Clino Castro Lourdes Cerri Pierluigi Chermayeff Ivan Chin Hsiao Christo Ciuti College of Fine Arts Saar Colvin Calum Confalonieri Confalonieri Giulio De Dominicis Gino Depero Fortunato Di Salvatore Nino Dibbets Jan Diens Sari Domus Academy Dorfles Gillo Dumbar Gert Eames Charles Elisava Escola Superior de Disseny Esterson Simon Fancello Salvatore Fazel Ramak Fiume Salvatore Fletcher Alan Fletcher Alan/Pentagram Fontana Lucio Fukuda Shigeo Funi Achille Gambetta Mario Gentili Moreno Gilbert & George Glaser Milton Gnoli Domenico Gottschalk, Fritz Greiman, April Grignani Franco Gruppo 65 Gruppo N Gruppo Ufo Gui Alessandro Hammacher Arno Hardis George Haus-Rukker Holmes John T. Holzer Jenny Igarashi Takenobu Jodice Mimmo Kalman Maira Kato, Ken Kawaguchi Yoichiro Kepes Gyorgy Klee Paul Klein William Kostabi Mark Lambreckt Laurie Latham William Laval Manuel Le Corbusier Loesch Uwe Long Richard Luna Bigas Lupi Italo Mack Heinz Mari Enzo Marini Marino Marotta Gino Martial Raysse Matta-Clark Gordon Mattiacci Eliseo McConnell John/Pentagram Merz Marisa Minkkinen Arno Rafael Miralda Antoni Monguzzi Bruno Monti Paolo Munari Bruno Müller Rolf Negri Newton Helmut Occhiomagico Ohtake Shinro Ott & Stein Paladino Mimmo Palma Urano Panseca Filippo Parcero Tatiana Peret Pfund Roger Piccoli Augusto Pirtle Woody / Pentagram Pistoletto Michelangelo Pizzo Greco Alfredo Pozzi Provinciali Michele Rambow Gunter Ricas Riccardo Rice Rosenquist James Rotella Mimmo Scandola Daniele Schedegger Ernesto Schlemmer Oskar Schneider Thomas / Wired Schulze Andreas Segal George Semenghini Simon Esterson Sims Karl Sottsass Ettore Spuybroek Lars - NOX St. Florian Friedrich Tahara Keiichi Tanaka Ikko The Blue Chemist The Royal College of Art Tibor Tillmans Wolfang Tissi Rosmarie Tony Tovaglia Pino Van Hees Emile Vargas Rafael Veronesi Luigi Vignelli Massimo Warchol Paul Webb Boyd Wolf Henry Woods Lebbeus Works Zush