From my perspective

There aren’t many skateparks or street spots where I live so eventually when I and my friends grew up a little bit, we´d started to dream about having our own place where we could build our own skatepark. Three years ago we got lucky, found a place and built our own indoor mini ramp and a bowl.

At that time I was already studying architecture. I wanted to become an architect because I wanted to work on projects where I would be solving spatial and social problems. To make some positive change. But during the studies, I have realized that it´s more about the looks than function. Long story short, some things started to bother me so I was starting to lose motivation to study.

I´d started to spend less time studying and spending more time in our almost finished skatepark and realized that our project is actually what I was looking for in the field of architecture. Being part of a group of friends, making our own decisions, designing and building because we wanted to have fun and also make a positive change in the times when nobody really listened to us. Since the park was finished, anyone can come and skate for free, so we practically made a “semi-public” skatepark. However it might sound, but we have actually done what municipality couldn´t provide and what is more important, we were able to take things in our hands, organize and reach the point of independence. On the other hand, we brought new life into an old empty building – “ugly” and forgotten piece of the industrial architecture of those “better times”.

Because of what I´ve experienced with my friends I´ve started to be interested in what can we learn about built environment through skateboarding. What can skateboarding teach us about public or abandoned and forgotten space? … How is skateboarding contributing to the social life in our communities? … Who should be in charge of designing public spaces? … What to do with all the abandoned buildings? … Skateboarding is offering interesting answers to these questions.

Skating is a continual search for the unknown. – Caine Gayle,

`Multiple Choice Through Words and Pictures´, Slap, v.4 n.9 (September 1995)

It became an obsession just like skating. I´ve started to search for related books, documentaries, projects of skateparks, public spaces, building renovations etc. All kinds of projects that are answering the questions written above. A lot has been published already in many (skateboarding) magazines, blogs and books – but all these bits are scattered around and sometimes a little bit harder to find. This is why I made this blog to function as a “library” in which I am also providing connections to the original and related content. So if you get hyped reading something and want to research more about it, you can do it directly from the post.

I also add my own personal experiences and comments in posts and write my own articles about related local projects which I can easily observe and be part of them. Therefore you will see a mixture of global and local content. So by making this idea of the blog reality, I mainly want to inspire others to start and be more involved in their own communities. I hope you will enjoy surfing the blog and feel free to contact me on info@unknownterrains.com.

Domen Stražar

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