Art or Vandalism?

Skateboarding can be classified as both a sport and an art form. Some people considered it to be a form of vandalism. Skateboarding, along with graffiti, is one of the few recreational activities that fit into this category. But the term vandalism depends largely on the location and the owner of the property.

‘Street’ skateboarding is the most popular form of skateboarding. Yet most of it is done illegally on Public and private property. The manner in which skateboarders use public property is dictated by councils and by government. Do not ride recklessly or endanger other people. Do not skate These laws are not strictly enforced. According to signs it is a $100 fine in certain areas. (Bourke street mall)

Private property and particularly commercial buildings offer some good places to skate. However they are the hardest places to skate without being interrupted by security guards. Skateboarders aren’t just seen as nuisances, they are public enemy number one. Some security guards spend more time fending off skateboarders than they would apprehend thieves. At some locations the response is so quick that a skate session would only last 3 minutes (which can be quite disappointing when you’ve travelled many kilometres to get there).

Entering and skating on private property such as high schools and primary schools is illegal. However schools are probably the most skate locations because they have such good obstacles. Primary schools and high schools are good because they have smaller chairs and tables to grind on. Which means you can perform a wider range of tricks with ease. If you’re lucky you can find movable benches and furniture that aren’t bolted to the ground. This means you can assemble the obstacles in to a configuration that suits you best. It’s also possible to construct make-shift ‘kicker ramps’ to do tricks off. Schools with small, moveable furniture are well known and highly valued within the skate community. A downside to moveable obstacles is that people steal them for their own personal use. Some people will go to great lengths to lift, and carry these obstacles home. (Thrown over fences and put into vans). On the other hand, some skaters will take their own home built ramps and rails to these locations just so they can try new tricks on different terrain.

Picnic Table

Picnic Table

At some high schools skateboarding is permitted by student during school hours. ON SCHOOL PROPERTY! What if these schools had adequate facilities and designated skate zones within school grounds? Kids would be able to skate during lunchtime breaks. These zones could be fully supervised and equipped with first aid. The popularity of the skateboard would grow. If I were to design an obstacle it would be multifunctional. For example a standard seat that can be converted into a grind box during lunch time. There are a few key issues that need to be addressed with an object like this: Safety (for skaters and others), education, entertainment and functionality.

Improper use, damage control and theft prevention would be other issues involved in a product like this.

Bike rack- South Bank

Bike rack- South Bank


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