Author Topic: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!  (Read 2515 times)

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_UniversalTruth_

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designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« on: February 18, 2014, 01:24:21 PM »
A friend of mine is very passionate about criticising plazas and skateparks as a 'simulacrum' of the the 'real' urban environment. Ever since I pointed out to him that a halfpipe is a reconstruction of a wave (surfers became skaters blabla), and that skateparks are an artificial city, he keeps arguing that only the old relics should be skated (like South Bank in London or Domplatte in Cologne) and that the planned integration of skateboarding into the city destroys the atopic character of skateboaring. As a skater I agree with him but as an urban design student I have to deal with plans of skateparks/ -spots too. So can skatespots be designed or are they only interesting as long as no skateability has been intended?

Check out this text by Ocean Howell, who was a skater and is now Professor for architecture and planning!!
http://sac.sagepub.com/content/11/4/475.abstract

But also this part by Dennis Busenitz where he skates a lot of new spots like the Landhausplatz in Innsbruck or the Gleisdreieck in Berlin!!


Just post your thoughts on planned skatespots or skating older, 'traditional' spots - whatever comes to your mind...
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shark tits

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 01:34:02 PM »
once upon a time corporations had to make public plazas in exchange for corporate welfare or the right to build 800 stories high or whatever. often times the plazas they built were conducive to skating. now if you could take city funds and replicate that sort of 'multi use' plaza feel then it'd technically be 'for' skating but look like it was for anything. no angle iron or tranny, just granite flat, ledges in whatever formulation ya think looks good and maybe some rails and such. dyrdek blew it on that kettering 'plaza' cause it doesn't resemble something found in a city's downtown. ask yourself 'would kalis film here?' and that should be a good rule of thumb if you should be building it.

_UniversalTruth_

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 02:06:43 PM »
once upon a time corporations had to make public plazas in exchange for corporate welfare or the right to build 800 stories high or whatever. often times the plazas they built were conducive to skating. now if you could take city funds and replicate that sort of 'multi use' plaza feel then it'd technically be 'for' skating but look like it was for anything. no angle iron or tranny, just granite flat, ledges in whatever formulation ya think looks good and maybe some rails and such. dyrdek blew it on that kettering 'plaza' cause it doesn't resemble something found in a city's downtown. ask yourself 'would kalis film here?' and that should be a good rule of thumb if you should be building it.

thanks mate, I agree that public spaces should be flexible for different utilizations and aesthetically appealing (unlike Dyr dick's ideas) !!
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Iceman

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 03:32:34 PM »
i can't help but point out a few things.

the most obvious (to me) is that i grew up without any skateparks, let alone skate plazas.

and as much of a dyork as i think dry dick is, (and how unstreet-like kettering is) i can't help but applaud him for starting the plaza movement.

however, i do fault him for not doing so before i got too old to be able to fully enjoy those spots  ::)

anyway. i think your friend is on some ultra "core" kick (not knocking it, at all) but should open his mind to the fact that WE should be able to skate anywhere we want. lest only our filmed parts be judged :)

also, tell him to get off my lawn.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 03:37:26 PM by Iceman »

Dr Steve Brule

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 05:09:23 PM »
I don't understand putting multiple small grass patches/lawns in the middle of skateparks. 
For Your Health

Tufty

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 09:13:06 PM »
I don't understand putting multiple small grass patches/lawns in the middle of skateparks. 
When you have a lot of concrete in an area pieces of land or water drop the amount of heat reflected to enviroment. Thats why cities have fountains. Architect stuff.

_UniversalTruth_

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 05:03:04 AM »
i can't help but point out a few things.

the most obvious (to me) is that i grew up without any skateparks, let alone skate plazas.

and as much of a dyork as i think dry dick is, (and how unstreet-like kettering is) i can't help but applaud him for starting the plaza movement.

however, i do fault him for not doing so before i got too old to be able to fully enjoy those spots  ::)

anyway. i think your friend is on some ultra "core" kick (not knocking it, at all) but should open his mind to the fact that WE should be able to skate anywhere we want. lest only our filmed parts be judged :)

also, tell him to get off my lawn.

the risk of drydick's foundation is that skaters are kept off the streets by giving them (us) a clearly defined place to skate. If skate plazas become accepted as 'real street' spots, skateboarding looses its meaning because it's no longer about 'misusing' urban elements...

Dyrdick:
Quote
Our hope is to encourage construction of legal street skating areas, be that through large urban skate plazas or single skate spots.
The future of skateboarding relies on having places to do it. There is a simple solution. Build real street parks.

Also the text by Ocean Howell (above) about skateparks as neoliberal playgrounds makes you question if so many big skateparks should be built or if there are other solutions...

A project that I really like is Superkilen in Copenhagen cus it's not only for skating but it's multifunctional:

http://www.detail-online.com/architecture/topics/three-colours-red-black-green-landscape-park-in-copenhagen-020724.html


« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 05:04:49 AM by _UniversalTruth_ »
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Mostly

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 05:47:05 AM »
Did you ever see "The Social Life Of Urban Spaces" a documentary about urban planning and why plazas look the way they do? It was online but it seems to have been removed. If you are going to architecture school they probably have a copy in the library.

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2011/10/social-life-public-space/237/

I'll also recommend the 99% Invisible podcast episode about Love Park

http://99percentinvisible.org/post/41291736390/episode-71-in-and-out-of-love

To answer your question, I feel like you can skate whatever you want and have fun on it but as far as photos and videos they are far more valuable if they are shot at a "real street spot" that is to say a spot that was designed without skateboarding in mind. It pains me to see skatepark photos in magazines.

Iceman

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 06:08:09 AM »
universal - they been tryin' to keep us off the streets since the beginning. it'll never happen, illegal or not. spot wise, the only difference between now and the the era before the skatepark explosion is that we currently have the option of either.

_UniversalTruth_

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 07:17:41 AM »
^ The Kap 686 in Cologne proves the opposite. It's forbidden to skate the traditional Domplatte and everybody goes to the new plaza... even skate teams are making demos there. A few years ago, they would go and film lines at the ledges and stairs; now they do little web clips at the plaza. More and more footage is filmed at skateparks... don't get me wrong, I mostly skate parks myself but only because there are no real spots where you could have fun for a while.

My question is: are spots only interesting for filming etc. as long as no skateability has been intended?
E. g. DIY- spots seem to be 'valid' for filming even though they have been built for it...

>> Is skateboarding all about finding originary spots and 'misusing' street furniture or can new creative spots (not skateplazas) be created on purpose like the examples above ??
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Iceman

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 07:29:04 AM »
i am not familiar with the spots you mentioned, but i don't think that changes anything. street spots have always been forbidden. sure there are plenty of park-only edits, but i would say that is more a product of our current web clip age than anything. when the time comes for a top pro to film a legit video part they are going to do so at those "forbidden" spots regardless of what the law and other authority figures say. just like before the park explosion.

to answer your questions....skating is whatever you want it to be.

_UniversalTruth_

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 08:01:26 AM »
Alright that's a very general answer but it fits, thanks for the reminder  :-*

Did you ever see "The Social Life Of Urban Spaces" a documentary about urban planning and why plazas look the way they do? It was online but it seems to have been removed. If you are going to architecture school they probably have a copy in the library.

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2011/10/social-life-public-space/237/

I'll also recommend the 99% Invisible podcast episode about Love Park

http://99percentinvisible.org/post/41291736390/episode-71-in-and-out-of-love

To answer your question, I feel like you can skate whatever you want and have fun on it but as far as photos and videos they are far more valuable if they are shot at a "real street spot" that is to say a spot that was designed without skateboarding in mind. It pains me to see skatepark photos in magazines.

Thank you! The second link led me to this wonderful video:
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 08:49:40 AM by _UniversalTruth_ »
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SodaJerk

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2014, 08:42:55 AM »
The Copenhagen example is a great one. The city government in CPH is encouraging town planners and architects to design public spaces and even the grounds of privately owned corporate buildings with the intention of encouraging multipul uses including skateboarding. They found that the more you encourage people to be there the less there is chance for criminal activity in the area. The SEB building you see in nearly every CPH tour clip is a great example of this. Personally I prefer a park not to look like it was designed to be skated.

pinche gringo

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2014, 11:05:00 AM »
It's personally more fulfilling to skate something that wasn't intended/designed to skate. 'DIY' spots are fun because often they're more challenging than the quarterpipe or perfectly constructed recreation of the 'LOVE' ledge at your local park/plaza. I like skating parks and do frequently, but having to creatively approach and interpret a spot is part of the enjoyment I get from skateboarding.

_UniversalTruth_

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2014, 11:33:25 AM »
OK so one thing I can hold is that imperfection is a criterion for a challenging spot.

Another insight would be that we want to be seen as some kind of urban rebels (on tape), but what we enjoy to do on a regular basis is to skate premanufactured spots...(I'm just honest with myself and your statements).
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SodaJerk

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2014, 12:17:19 PM »
OK so one thing I can hold is that imperfection is a criterion for a challenging spot.

Another insight would be that we want to be seen as some kind of urban rebels (on tape), but what we enjoy to do on a regular basis is to skate premanufactured spots...(I'm just honest with myself and your statements).
Yeah that sounds about right.

KoRnholio8

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2014, 03:39:36 AM »
1. you only have the streets and struggle to learn new trick on imperfect terrain (or the lack of terrain) - you are core, but you don't really care for that
2. you get a good skatepark/plaza and your trick selection grows and tend to forget the streets, because of the hassle - you are not core anymore, but you don't care
3. you get bored with the said skatepark/plaza and find something to complain about - you are not core, but you suddenly want to be
4. some skaters then religiously defend the streets as core and don't ever go to skateparks, some do just skateparks and there are the sesnible bunch that utilizes both and is content.

StabMasterArson

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2014, 07:29:49 AM »
Don't stop looking for spots, and don't stop building them. You can never have too many options.

Tufty

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2014, 12:45:34 PM »
 Skateparks and fabricated spots like that in Copenhagen (not the DIY  :P) are a controled enviroment for learning stuff. Streets are where the fun is.

 Kids are becoming somehow lazy however. I see it in my city. People only skate a shitty skatepark and 2 perfect ledge spots. They only skate street shen they have to film for a video. I like skating those spots for an hour just to maintain my tricks, after that it gets boring. Streets are fun not only because of the difficulty and creativity but also for the interaction with non skaters. My best stories from skateboarding isnt skateboarding but interaction with non skaters.

Rusty_Berrings

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2014, 12:48:47 PM »
park.

shark tits

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2014, 12:49:07 PM »
nobody ever fell in love at a skatepark. that's what i always say to encourage real skating [vs placebo]. i don't usually fall in love at the courthouse or college ledge spots either but i sure do spy some ass.

SodaJerk

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2014, 01:42:54 PM »
nobody ever fell in love at a skatepark. that's what i always say to encourage real skating [vs placebo]. i don't usually fall in love at the courthouse or college ledge spots either but i sure do spy some ass.
Skatepark tail is usually gross in my experience. Easy but gross.

shark tits

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2014, 01:47:33 PM »
nobody ever fell in love at a skatepark. that's what i always say to encourage real skating [vs placebo]. i don't usually fall in love at the courthouse or college ledge spots either but i sure do spy some ass.
Skatepark tail is usually gross in my experience. Easy but gross.
ain't no broads hangin around the skateparks of central mass and if they were it'd be statuatory LAMF! next to auburn park there are some jogger/walker gals but there's 2 fences and an impenetrable divide. i'm ok w/ gross, once my SSI kicks on i'll be frequenting the hookers of main south for real.

pica

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2014, 02:17:01 PM »
skateparks are the shallow waters, i'd rather go swimming but every once in a while it's fun to splash around.

_UniversalTruth_

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2014, 02:22:39 PM »
Skateparks and fabricated spots like that in Copenhagen (not the DIY  :P) are a controled enviroment for learning stuff. Streets are where the fun is.

 Kids are becoming somehow lazy however. I see it in my city. People only skate a shitty skatepark and 2 perfect ledge spots. They only skate street shen they have to film for a video. I like skating those spots for an hour just to maintain my tricks, after that it gets boring. Streets are fun not only because of the difficulty and creativity but also for the interaction with non skaters. My best stories from skateboarding isnt skateboarding but interaction with non skaters.

I wouldn't say Superkilen is a contrast to 'the streets' cus it's a public place where different types of people can meet spontaneously without dictated specific uses. That's what defines urbanity imo.
Maybe your criticism is that it's not a place that has developed organically in a bottom-up process and therefore has no originality despite the artistic design..?  

Perhaps we're simply not used to being surrounded by an environment that serves our needs instead of telling us what (not) to do. A big part of our 'discipline' as skaters has been to disrespect and reinterpret the city which was dominated by privatization and functionalism (especially in the US). But on the other hand skateboarding is also about enjoying the few 'real' places which allow us to practice what we love to do, right?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 04:06:38 PM by _UniversalTruth_ »
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StokedTaco

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2014, 05:01:18 PM »
once upon a time corporations had to make public plazas in exchange for corporate welfare or the right to build 800 stories high or whatever. often times the plazas they built were conducive to skating. now if you could take city funds and replicate that sort of 'multi use' plaza feel then it'd technically be 'for' skating but look like it was for anything. no angle iron or tranny, just granite flat, ledges in whatever formulation ya think looks good and maybe some rails and such. dyrdek blew it on that kettering 'plaza' cause it doesn't resemble something found in a city's downtown. ask yourself 'would kalis film here?' and that should be a good rule of thumb if you should be building it.

pretty sure kalis filmed a switchflip backtail on one of the rails at said skate plaza in one of his parts.

Exposure

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2014, 05:21:26 PM »
Skatepark tail is usually gross in my experience. Easy but gross.

This is true 9 times out of 10.
I can ollie 6 decks why would I want to scrape the ground with my tricks

ratherwatch

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2014, 11:31:32 AM »
I think it's a borderline pretentious/ semantic argument by 2014. What's the difference between a terribly designed, abandoned park in a ghetto and a street spot? Metal edges? Parallel has metal edges but is somehow 'legit' ( the most cuntish expression of the era?). Sketchiness for sketchiness' sake to make us feel all grown up and worldly?
A cartoon is low art but an oil painting of a cartoon is high art. What would a cartoon of an oil painting be? End of the day I don't think anybody outside of the tastemaker/ train spotter strain care, and they are a fading voice now when the most popular thing on the web is flatland in a trendy indoor park. What if somebody commissioned a dope spot but never announced it was purpose- built until it was like jkwon? Would the nature of the terrain change, or just the rebel pose? The way I think about it is if your feet can't tell the difference then it's all in your head. Have fun and worry about whether it constitutes postmodern social comment later.

_UniversalTruth_

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2014, 05:00:12 AM »
^ "skateboarding is so mental" (MJ).  It's maybe not so much about the physical characteristics of the spot but what kind of 'stage' we want to have...
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ratherwatch

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Re: designing spots vs. exploring the city ..?!
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2014, 03:57:10 AM »
^ "skateboarding is so mental" (MJ).  It's maybe not so much about the physical characteristics of the spot but what kind of 'stage' we want to have...
Stage is a very interesting word to use- a lot of skateboarding is theatre from the entrance to performance. Try putting on music which isn't macho at a contest and see what happens. Has anyone ever thrown their board around at an abandoned DIY spot with no-one around?