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Professional skaters and professors unite for Pushing Boarders

Pushing Boarders will bring together professional skateboarders, policymakers and academics for the first time to explore the social impact of skateboarding worldwide.

A skateboarder travels at speed

4 May 2018

Held at The Bartlett and The House of Vans between 1 and 3 June, Pushing Boarders will examine the unconventional role of skateboarding in fields as diverse as urban studies, humanitarian aid, creative writing and gender identity.

SkatePal, Long Live Southbank, and Re-verb skateboarding—an academic collective set up by Bartlett PhD students Thomas Callan-Riley and Sander Holsgens – have organised the event to encourage skater-led debate and research.

“There are 50 million skateboarders around the world and only about 30 academics whose research relates to skateboarding. This event puts them all in the same room to work together as a tool for social changeThere are 50 million skateboarders around the world and only about 30 academics whose research relates to skateboarding. This event puts them all in the same room to work together on using skateboarding as a tool for social change.

Thomas Callan-Riley, co-organiser of Pushing Boarders

Among the renowned speakers is Elissa Steamer, who was the first woman to become a professional skater. Elissa will discuss how urban spaces—predominantly designed by men—affect and interact with female skaters. Bartlett Professor Iain Borden, who has been writing about skateboarding for 30 years, will speak about the legacy of skateboarding in academia and discuss its future.

Pushing Boarders will also feature a photography exhibition, film screenings, a street market of skate brands and a skate school for all ages and abilities.


 Find out more

This event has received funding and support from The Bartlett Innovation Fund, The Bartlett Architectural Research Fund, UCL Grand Challenges, Sheffield Hallam University and the House of Vans London.