This summer, in a collective context at 109 placed under the sign of urban cultures with the event "Voilà l'été! "event, the Forum d'Urbanisme et d'Architecture invites us to question the relationship between architecture, the city and "skate culture". At once a sport, a hobby and a means of travel, skateboarding resonates in the city in a complex way, not without apparent paradoxes.
Born in California in the 1950s as a "land-based" extension of surfing, urban skateboarding conquered Los Angeles before taking on the world. It takes advantage of existing urban facilities (pavements, ramps, public spaces, etc.), turning them into a conquest of freedom in its own way. In doing so, sliding cultivates a form of fertile rebellion: at the risk of competition, or even conflict, with other users of the city (whose dedicated territories are encroached upon by skateboarders), sliding also invents a changing aesthetic and new "possibilities" of urban forms as it moves along the asphalt.
In a bid to appease, but also because the "design" of the city knows how to feed on everything, architecture has ended up taking hold of sliding as an urban practice to imagine "agreed marriages" between the perennial and the fleeting, between built forms and movement. After the first trial and error skateparks, architectural agencies are now inventing new forms and new places for sliding, suggesting new ways of inhabiting and "practising" cities.
In order not to confine such a debate within four walls, the Forum has chosen to document this new state of affairs between architecture and sliding through an outdoor exhibition. "Skateville" is a long mural fresco on the façade of the 109, in direct contact with the public space of the Turin square and, beyond that, with the very space of the street, the privileged terrain of urban sliding.
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