Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021
For Folkestone Triennial, Assemble worked closely with the local skateboarding community, including the operators of the new F51 Olympic standard Skate Park, to design a series of nine skateable sculptures in a grouping and location that emphasises how skateboarding is a deeply social activity.
Skating Situations have been designed not simply to be usable for a range of skating abilities, but also to provide a space where people can meet. The location on the Harbour Arm attracted the attention of skaters, and became the site for an event called Pier Pressure in October 2020. It exemplifies the attitude that skating is an activity that can and should coexist with other activities in public space (in the same way as shared space between traffic and pedestrians is now recognised to be valuable and productive).
Skaters most often appropriate elements from the urban infrastructure in order to make use of them for skating purposes -- kerbs, street furniture, steps, railings, parts of buildings. And then there are purpose made elements (half pipes etc) disposed in designated areas for skating.
As consciously developed 'sculptures', Skating Situations borrows something from each of these categories. The individual components combine the idea of 'found objects' with designs and an aesthetic that have evolved to respond specifically to skaters' needs and preferences.
Assemble is a multi-disciplinary collective working across architecture, design and art. Founded in 2010 to undertake a single self-built project, Assemble has since delivered a diverse and award-winning body of work, whilst retaining a democratic and co-operative working method that enables built, social and research-based work at a variety of scales, both making things and making things happen.
In 2015 Assemble were awarded the Turner Prize for their network of neighbourhood projects created in collaboration with the residents of Granby, Liverpool, which includes the establishment of the community orientated business Granby Workshop, a manufacturer of architectural ceramics.
Assemble, Skating Situations, Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021. Photo by Thierry Bal
Film by Oliver Parkin. Drone footage by Tom Bishop Photography
Assemble’s Skating Situations is generously supported by Jenner