Reclaiming the street
The playful principles of the competition are supported by a text by Ian Borden (architectural historian) about how skateboarders adopt urban environments as concrete playground, and a chapter from Jocko Weylands The Answer is Never on the rise of skateboard culture in the eighties.
The international architectural competition and publication Reclaiming the Street are part of Endless City, a long-term project of Showroom MAMA in which the relationship between skateboard culture, public space and (visual) art is being investigated. The creativity with which the skaters 'use' the city and how they question (architectural) rules, offer new perspectives on the design and use of public space by different groups of users.
The call for Reclaiming the Street was design of an object or adaptation of urban space to be used by skateboarders and the general public, encouraging multiple use. The winning design, Twist & Shout by Romi Kohsla Design Studio in New Delhi, is a simple, elongated twisted form of recycled wood. It subtly demands the public space. The non-standard form offers variety and new challenges for skateboarders. The smaller curves allow kids and beginners to enjoy skating. Pedestrians can indulge themselves by sitting or lying on it and it is also an attractive object to non-skaters.