Skateboarding Public Spaces | Pioneering architecture bears the weight of political turmoil
Skateboarding and architecture and forever joined at the hip. Typically it’s not built specifically for skating, we just take it over as our own and add an additional use to the space. Things can be changing in Europe however.
This article from Village Psychic looks at cities that are pioneering public skateable architecture, yet not in the way one would thing. It’s war-town, political upheaval that created many spots in Soviet era housing projects, as well as in Innsbruck. There is added introspection on the current world happenings thanks to Trump being a psychopath that make it a timely and interesting read. Also there’s some dope skate spots…
“If I think about the last year, I have seen an addition to the common topics of people. If I go to a restaurant, quite often I hear this word of war, sometimes I hear people discussing what they would do if something happened. Do you go, or do you stay? These are new everyday topics that we didn’t have two years ago.” The issue of public space in Estonia is complicated by Trump’s election, and if you want an example of how America’s influence extends into the deepest corners of Europe, here it is.
Public space is being developed amongst large scale Soviet Bloc housing in ways that encourage skateboarders. These same skateboarders have long been associated with the American counter culture. Just think of when skateboarders were put under surveillance in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall because the Communists were suspicious of the sport’s American origins.
Thinking this way, a bank to ledge built amongst Soviet Bloc housing brings to mind the significant political tensions of 2016. As the spaces between the Soviet architecture are developed to accommodate a sport that originated in America, these windowed totems point back towards Russia.”