Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael of the eponymous studio Rael San Fratello (previously) foster a practice that’s difficult to categorize, which they speak to in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. The pair pursue projects that transcend the boundaries of design, art, technology, and craft: they continually address the implications of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, had a hand in the iconic Prada Marfa, and have constructed homes entirely through 3D printing. Although their interests are broad, Rael San Fratello is always committed to the material and structural, to recognizing everyone’s humanity, and to finding sustainable, practical ways to create a more hospitable future.
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It was our hope that people would be able to relate to some of the spaces we created and would be able to understand and literally feel the bereftness, loneliness, and loss created by the division in the house. These are emotions that we all have and we all understand. With this project, we wish to communicate how the (border) wall is not only dividing places. It’s dividing people. It’s dividing families and how the unfortunate politics of the wall today is dividing children from their parents.
In this conversation, the pair speaks with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert about applying their 3D-printing practice to larger projects, the role tradition plays in their works, and how, as educators, they encourage their students to embody the same innovative, endlessly curious mindset.