Skateboarders are obsessed with the fabric of the city. Though a skateboarder primarily sees the city not for the spectacle of its architecture, or the historical, symbolic and authorial content that comes along with it. Architecture is encountered in relation to surface plane, edge, angle and texture.
The city is no longer buildings but a set of concrete benches, paving slabs, public litter bins, granite curbs and slanted walls. Through this lens, the city is a series of micro-spaces, where value is measured only in the challenge afforded to the skateboarder's skill. This interest being described in movement, angle, texture and edge condition.
In Folkestone we can see the search for skateable terrain documented in online videos made by local skaters such as Joel Snowman, as well as in live-action on social media platforms like the ‘Skate Folkestone’ Instagram page.
Skateboarding is a deeply social activity, with many ‘skating spots’ in fact better for meeting than they are for doing any skating! The skating sculptures designed for the Triennial are not simply useable for a range of skating abilities, but provide a space where people can meet.
Inspired by the bits and pieces of public realm that, through many years of the Triennial, have become intertwined with various pieces of art, we worked with the local skateboarding community to develop a skating spot that celebrates the existing location on the Harbour Arm by transforming it into a permanent, dedicated space for skating.