Dare to try enabling an inclusive skate culture through design at this year’s Festival of Place

June 3, 2021

Through our research study, Flickrum, we discovered that boys and girls use spaces differently after the age of eight. Biologically, there is no difference between the male and female brain, so this response is shaped by external environmental conditions; from cultural norms, to the design of the built environment. Last year, a research report on Inclusive Skate parks authored by White Research Lab and the Swedish Skateboard Federation confirmed this – and much more.

The Inclusive Skate report found that skate parks are designed to exclude certain demographics; from girls to the mobility impaired. As we discovered through Flickrum, this has historically been the case with the design of many of our cities worldwide. Taking the skate park as a microcosm of our social and cultural inequality, how can we design urban environments that encourage active participation to include those who are currently marginalised?

 

Join White Arkitekter’s Fredrik Angner and Rebecca Rubin with Swedish Skateboard Federation’s Niklas Boström, in conversation with Christine Murray discussing their findings and ways forward at this year’s Festival of Place.

 

Festival of Place: Gender Equal Cities, 07-08 June
Dare to try – enabling an inclusive skate culture through design

Monday 07 June, 13.00-13.20 BST/14.00 – 14.20 CET
Click here to book tickets.

Background
One unforeseen outcome of the pandemic was a resurgence in skateboarding, with interest expected to increase as it becomes an Olympic sport in 2021. Pre-pandemic, 78% of the members of Sweden’s skateboard associations were male – this figure is largely representative across the global West. However, the last year’s big increases have seen more females, couples and older generations who used to skate in their youth, now re-engaging with the sport, either alone or with their children. While there have been several initiatives taken to make skating a more equal activity, there had been no research into how skate parks themselves could be designed to be more inclusive.

quote
We are striving for an equal, equal and inclusive skate culture. By examining how the design of the built environment can affect this, we have another tool that takes us closer to our vision.
Niklas Boström, Organisation & Equality Developer, Swedish Skateboard Federation

The results of the study show that the design of today’s skate parks have been built based on norms that exclude under-represented groups. The solution for encourage more people to dare to stake their claim and feel comfortable in the skate parks is a multifunctional design with spatial variation, considerate courses, as well as a greater focus on accessibility, security and a strong design vision.

 

– Most skate parks today are single-function facilities, made of concrete with a defined edge and a high degree of difficulty. I am convinced that a creative and norm-conscious approach to design can contribute to skating becoming a more equal activity that more people dare to try, says Fredrik Angner, Landscape Architect at White Arkitekter.

 

The research into Inclusive Skate environments has been led by experts in inclusive design and based on a methodology that White developed during Flickrum.

quote
If we want to create inclusive places, it is fundamental to involve under-represented groups in the design process and that co-creation becomes part of placemaking after completion. This is also completely in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Rebecca Rubin, Architect, Urban Designer and Inclusive Design Specialist, White Arkitekter

This project was funded by White Research Lab and Sveriges Skateboardförbund/Swedish Skateboard Federation. You can read the full research report on designing inclusive skate facilities here.

 

The report is currently only available in Swedish, but it will be available in English later this year. For more information in the meantime, please contact:

 

Fredrik Angner, Landscape Architect, White Arkitekter
[email protected], tel: +46 8 410 823 81

Niklas Boström, Organisation & Equality Developer, Swedish Skateboard Federation
[email protected], tel: +46 739 976 484

 

Contact Person

Fredrik Angner

Fredrik Angner

Quality specialist

Landscape architect

Stockholm

fredrik.angner@white.se

+46 8 410 823 81

English
Svenska